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25 May 2022

Huge dip in number of people getting welfare or Covid relief payments, CSO reveals

CSO reveals 50% decrease in number of people receiving welfare or Covid relief payments

CSO reveals 50% decrease in number of people receiving welfare or Covid relief payments

The number of people in receipt of social welfare or Covid relief payments has decreased by over 50%. 

That's according to data released by the Central Statistics Office today (May 9), which found the number of people supported by the Live Register or State schemes has gone from 907,800 in March 2021 to 436,056 in March 2022. 

This includes recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). 

Unadjusted Live Register figures from today's data amount to 177,004 people in April 2022, reflecting a drop of 1,992 on March 2022's figure.

It is also 965 less than the April 2021 figure, when a further 385,211 people were also in receipt of the PUP. 

Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys, called the data "very encouraging". 

She said, "Today’s Live Register figure and the monthly unemployment rate also published a few days ago are very encouraging and reflect the re-opening of the economy and the growth in employment.

“Numerous employers are seeking to increase their workforce as we move into the summer season, providing jobseekers with opportunities in a broad range of services and other employments." 

She continued: "Through Future Building under the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy, which I and my colleague Simon Harris launched last week, officials in my Department and in the Department of Further and Higher Education and related agencies, will provide the training and skills required by jobseekers that best suits them to find work. 

"Our priority now is to ensure that jobseekers here find work. This will be a challenge for many who may be out of work for some time and who may have to reconsider a change in the type of work they had been doing previously." 

The minister said it's important to "focus on supporting people in finding quality jobs". 

She said, "Starting work on a positive footing can have dividends throughout an individual’s working life." 

"The challenge now is to ensure that the positive outcomes we are experiencing in the labour market are achieved across all sectors of the community and that those who have traditionally faced disadvantage such as lone parents, people with disabilities, minority groups and older people are supported appropriately." 

Covid-19 income support schemes were introduced in March 2020 to offset the financial challenges employees and businesses faced throughout the pandemic. 

The first PUP payment was paid on March 22 2020 while the TWSS was first paid on March 24 2020. 

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