28 April 2021
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (28 April 2021) 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 enterprise levels of uptake of the State’s COVID-19 income 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 in January 2021, 46.6% of enterprises had personnel availing of either the Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) or PUP. The highest month for income supports was April 2020 at 57.2% while the lowest month was September 2020 at 30.5%. Three in ten (30.3%) enterprises had at least three-quarters of their personnel receiving either WSS or PUP in January 2021, the highest percentage since June 2020 when it was 35.8%.
Of the 242,681 enterprises in the analysis, 6.8% had all personnel in receipt of PUP continuously since April 2020. In January 2021, 21.5% of enterprises had all personnel on PUP. The Transportation & Storage sector, which includes taxi operators, had the highest percentage of enterprises with all personnel in receipt of PUP continuously since April 2020 at 22.4% and the second highest in January 2021 at 39.3%. The Other Services Activities sector, which includes Hairdressing and other beauty treatment enterprises, had the highest percentage of all personnel in receipt of PUP at 40.0%.
Almost four in ten (38.4%) enterprises had no personnel in receipt of COVID-19 income support. Three quarters (75.0%) of enterprises in the Information & Communication sector had no personnel availing of WSS or PUP in January 2021 compared to 68.5% in April 2020. Six in ten (60.7%) enterprises in the sector had no employees or self-employed persons availing of COVID-19 income support at any point since March 2020.
In January 2021, 14.7% of large enterprises (250+ persons engaged) had at least three-quarters of personnel on COVID-19 income support, compared to 31.5% of medium sized enterprises (50-249 persons engaged), 32.3% of small enterprises (10-49 persons engaged) and 30.2% of micro enterprises (<10 persons engaged).
Almost six in ten (58.3%) of Hairdressing and other beauty treatment enterprises had at least three-quarters of their personnel on COVID-19 income support in January 2021. This was similar to the level seen in the first lockdown in April 2020 (59.7%). Sports activities enterprises, which includes sports clubs, leisure centres and gyms, had 41.4% of enterprises with high levels of COVID-19 income support for persons engaged in January 2021, compared to 23.7% of Retailers."
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 is from 2020/21. This means that some enterprises will have ceased trading and new enterprises will have commenced over the period 01 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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