18 December 2020
Go to release: Business Signs of Life Series One: State Support
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (18 December 2020) published the results of the Frontier series on Business Signs of Life: State Supports. The series has been created by the CSO to examine changes in the Irish Business Economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This release links administrative data sources to provide insight into business uptake of the State’s COVID-19 payroll support which includes the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
Commenting on the results, Statistician, Colin Hanley, said:
"The results show that between March and September 59.3% of enterprises availed of either the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) or had employees or self-employed in receipt of the PUP at least once. More than a fifth (21.4%) availed of the WSS at some point while 54.1% had employees or self-employed persons in receipt of the PUP.
The month with highest uptake of employment-related support was April when 57.0% of enterprises had staff in receipt of TWSS or PUP. This declined each month to September when 29.2% of enterprises availed of support, the lowest month in the period covered. The enterprises with PUP recipients followed the same trend, peaking in April (51.8%) before declining to a low in September at 24.1%. The TWSS peaked in July at 16.0% with the lowest uptake in March at 3.9% (the scheme only started on 26 March 2020). In September 10.0% of enterprises availed of the EWSS which had replaced the TWSS.
More than a third (34.4%) of enterprises in all sectors had all their pre-COVID-19 employees or self-employed persons in receipt of PUP during the first lockdown in April. This declined over the summer as restrictions eased to 11.9% by September. The sectors with the highest proportion of enterprises that had all staff on PUP in April were Other Service Activities (55.8%), Construction (52.1%) and Transportation and Storage (47.6%).
More than eight in ten (83.4%) enterprises in the Hairdressing & other beauty treatment activities had persons in receipt of the PUP at some point between March and September 2020. Enterprises in these activities also highlighted the impact of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Enterprises with PUP recipients fell from 77.3% on 30 June to 26.0% on 21 July following Phase Three on 29 June 2020 while those availing of the TWSS increased from 4.0% in June to 24.7% in July 2020.
Other activities with high levels of employment-related support take up were Building completion & finishing (75.4%), which includes plasterers, painters and fitters etc., Restaurant & mobile food services (75.1%), Beverage serving activities (72.7%), Hotels & similar accommodation (70.6%) and Taxi operators (66.9%)."
This release covers enterprises in the Structural Business Statistics population and excludes enterprises in Agriculture, Financial Services, Public administration, Education, Human health & social work among others.
There are asymmetries between the periods covered in the data sources. Annual business statistics are published about 18 months after the reference year. The reason for this time lag is that the figures on active enterprises depend on processed tax return data supplied to the Revenue Commissioners, which businesses have 11 months after the reference year to submit. Therefore, the base population of enterprises in this release is from 2018 while the administrative data on COVID-19 employment-related supports from 2020. This means that some enterprises will have ceased trading and new enterprises will have commenced over the period 1 January 2019 to 15 March 2020. Due to this time lag, the usual demographic changes in the business population have not been measured in establishing a baseline for this report. Given this limitation, it is likely that the proportional estimates in this release will be underestimated because of these previously ceased enterprises.
Colin Hanley (+353) 21 453 5559
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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