less returning to work hits weekly high
DUBLIN (Reuters) – The number of people claiming temporary coronavirus-related unemployment payments in Ireland fell to 412,900 from 439,000 a week ago, with a further 44,800 set to receive their final payment this week, government data showed on Monday.
Almost nine out of every 10 of those are returning to work, the highest weekly number of people leaving the scheme for a job since the crisis began, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said in a statement.
Ireland has reopened its economy more gradually than much of Europe, with hotels, restaurants, hairdressers and some pubs resuming trading just this week, almost completing a full exit from lockdown that began in March.
Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, which is higher than regular jobless benefits and is due to be phased out next month, reached a peak of just over 600,000 at the end of April and have been steadily declining as the economy reopened.
Almost 50,000 of those have moved to a separate wage-subsidy scheme, Humphreys’ department said. An estimated 410,000 employees currently get a subsidy, a total which has been broadly stable for the last four weeks.
Unemployment, including recipients of the temporary payment, stood at 22.5% at the end of June.