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Press Statement

Preasráiteas

10 May 2021

Live Register April 2021 and COVID-19 Income Support Payment Measures

Total number of persons on the Live Register or receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment decreased by 9.9% to 556,273 over the month to April 2021
  • Unadjusted Live Register total stands at 177,969 for April 2021
  • Seasonally adjusted Live Register total for April 2021 was 181,800, down 3,500 from March 2021
  • In the last week of April 2021, 385,211 persons were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) down 58,036 from last month and 220,328 from a year ago
  • Of the 385,211 persons in receipt of the PUP for the week ending 02 May 2021, 52.3% were male, 70.6% were Irish and almost a quarter were in each of the 25-34-year-old (22.0%) and 35-44-year-old (22.1%) age groups
  • Of the 315,647 persons currently estimated to have been directly supported by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) in March 2021, 56.8% were male and 43.2% were female
  • In March 2021, 905,575 persons were on the Live Register or were benefitting from the PUP or the EWSS, down from 941,070 in February 2021

Go to release: Live Register April 2021

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (10 May 2021) issued results from the Live Register in respect of April 2021. Today’s release also for the first time includes new details regarding the COVID-19 income support schemes.

Commenting on today’s publication, Catalina Gonzalez, CSO Statistician, said:

“The unadjusted Live Register total for April 2021 is 177,969. When seasonal effects are considered, the seasonally adjusted Live Register total for April 2021 was 181,800, a decrease of 3,500 from March 2021.

Outside of the traditional Live Register, in the last week of April 2021, 385,211 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). There are currently 220,328 fewer persons in receipt of the PUP than at the end of April 2020. Users should consider the impact of Government restrictions when comparing the numbers of people in receipt of PUP at different points in time.”

Commenting on monthly estimates of the numbers being directly supported by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) which are included for the first time in today’s publication, Catalina Gonzalez continued:

“The CSO have included monthly estimates of the number of persons being supported by the EWSS up to March 2021 in the Live Register release and in the PxStat series LRM20 (link to PxStat LR series) for the first time today. While the PUP and the Live Register are weekly schemes, the availability of the EWSS data depends on an employee’s pay frequency which could be weekly, fortnightly, every four weeks or monthly. Because of these differing pay frequencies, and the time it takes for employers to lodge payslip data with the Revenue Commissioners before it is made available to the CSO for dissemination purposes, there is a lag on the availability of the EWSS estimates in the same way there was for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) estimates in 2020.

The total number of persons that were on the Live Register or who benefitted from the COVID-19 income supports (PUP, TWSS or EWSS) has also been made available today.

Of the 315,647 persons currently estimated to have been directly supported by the EWSS in March 2021, 56.8% were male and 43.2% were female while 13.4% were aged under 25 and 86.6% were aged 25 years and over.

In March 2021, 905,575 persons were on the Live Register or were benefitting from the PUP, TWSS or the EWSS, down from 941,070 in February 2021. The current low point of that series was March 2020 (687,989), however, this was the first month the COVID-19 income support schemes were introduced. The first payment of the PUP referred to the week ending on 22 March 2020, while the TWSS was first paid on 24 March 2020, but could relate to earlier payslips. The current high point of the series was reached in April 2020 (1,179,146). As Government COVID-19 restrictions eased over the following months, the number of those supported by all the schemes decreased on a monthly basis and came to a current mid-series low point in September 2020 (740,410). The monthly totals have been fluctuating since then due to the changing levels of restrictions in place at the time.”

Commenting on further aggregates of the COVID-19 income supports, Catalina Gonzalez added:

Tables providing the breakdowns of the numbers receiving the PUP each week by sex, age group, county and nationality grouping are being made available today. (See PxStat). 

Looking at this data, of the 385,211 persons in receipt of the PUP for the week ending 02 May 2021, 52.3% were male, 70.6% were Irish, and almost a quarter were in each of the 25-34-year-old (22.0%) and 35-44-year-old (22.1%) age groups. It can also be noted that 863,546 people have received at least one payment since the scheme was established in March 2020, of which 56.1% were male and 47.7% were aged between 25 and 44 years of age. From the weekly breakdown of those receiving the PUP, it can also be seen that the number of those receiving the payment has decreased on a weekly basis since week ending 14 February 2021, following seven weeks of increase."

Editor's Note:

In the last week of April 2021, 385,211 of those employed whose income has been affected due to COVID-19 benefitted from the PUP which is administered by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). The Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) was replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) from 01 September 2020. There are some EWSS claims for July and August 2020 in respect of newly hired or seasonally hired employees who were ineligible for the TWSS. Both the TWSS and the EWSS schemes have been administered by the Revenue Commissioners which have provided TWSS and EWSS data to the CSO for statistical purposes and dissemination to users. Monthly estimates of the numbers being directly supported by the EWSS are included in the Live Register release today and the CSO will publish weekly estimates of the numbers being directly supported by the EWSS later this month.

The income support payments are not captured in the traditional methodology of the Live Register which is a historical series that includes the number of claimants for Jobseekers Benefit and Jobseekers Assistance (see the Information Note on Implications of COVID-19 on the Live Register and the Monthly Unemployment Estimates for more details).

A review of non-recipient Live Register claims is ongoing at the DSP and relates primarily to cases where a person who received a PUP payment has since closed their PUP claim and reported a return to employment. This will impact the Live Register totals, as some of these non-recipient jobseeker claims were included on the Live Register, but their jobseeker claims were not automatically closed at that time  (see the Technical Note published by the CSO to accompany the Live Register, August 2020 release for more information).

The DSP have supplied supplementary information on whether PUP recipients were in full-time education when asked to certify their status on the MyWelfare.ie service. While it should be noted that this information is not complete, it is estimated that at least 8.1% of all recipients of PUP since March 2020 were attending full-time education at the time of certification. For those aged 25 years and over this could be as low as 1.3% while it is at least 33.8% for those aged under 25 years. If the PUP scheme did not exist, those persons, being in full-time education, would not be eligible to receive Unemployment Assistance or Unemployment Benefit and so would not be included on the Live Register.

It should be noted that DSP has been paying arrears to recipients of the PUP, to take account of the movement of people in and out of employment. The first arrears payment occurred on 01 December 2020. All PUP arrears paid to date are included in the week of the entitlement period, rather than the week of payment.

The CSO has decided to compile the Live Register data for April 2021 in the traditional way and provide details of COVID-19 income support payments (see CSO PxStat series LRW01 to LRW12) separately. An analysis of the Live Register total broken down by recipient and non-recipient claims is available in Annex Table A3 in the Live Register release.

The CSO will continue to evaluate the available income support schemes and the results of the recipient and non-recipient analysis to determine whether any changes are required to the methodology for the Live Register to improve the usability of the series. Any changes the CSO may make to the methodology in the future will be clearly outlined to users in the statistical release and accompanying material.

For further information:

Catalina Gonzalez, Labour Market Analysis -  (+353) 87 646 7535

Email: labour@cso.ie

See COVID-19 Information Hub 

For further information contact:

Catalina Gonzalez (+353) 21 453 5163 or Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491

or email labour@cso.ie

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