04 June 2021
Go to release: Live Register May 2021
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (04 June 2021) issued results from the Live Register in respect of May 2021.
Commenting on today’s publication, Catalina Gonzalez, CSO Statistician, said:
“The unadjusted Live Register total for May 2021 is 171,699. When seasonal effects are considered, the seasonally adjusted Live Register total for May 2021 was 174,200 a decrease of 6,000 from April 2021.
Outside of the traditional Live Register, in the last week of May 2021, 309,515 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). There are currently 235,155 fewer persons in receipt of the PUP than at the end of May 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), 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) since the March 2021 release. 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.
Of the 311,275 persons currently estimated to have been directly supported by the EWSS in April 2021, 56.6% were male and 43.4% were female while 13.9% were aged under 25 and 86.1% were aged 25 years and over.
The total number of persons that were on the Live Register or who benefitted from the COVID-19 income supports (PUP, TWSS or EWSS) to April 2021 has also been made available today.
In April 2021, 844,237 persons were on the Live Register or were benefitting from the PUP, TWSS or the EWSS. Of those 54.7% were male and 45.3% were female, while 18.3% were under 25 and 81.7% were over 25. The number supported by all schemes was also down from 907,019 in March 2021.The current low point of that series was March 2020 (688,004), 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 (1,179,150). 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 (740,473). 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, as well as the number of those being directly supported by the EWSS and the estimated number of persons benefitting from PUP or TWSS or EWSS up to the week ending on 28 March 2021 (See PxStat).
Looking at this data, of the 728,386 number of persons currently estimated to have benefitted from the PUP or EWSS for the week ending 28 March 2021, 55.3% were male, 72.6% were Irish, and almost a quarter were in each of the 25-34-year-old (22.6%) and 35-44-year-old (24.4%) age groups. It can also be noted that 1,136,424 persons have received at least one payment since the COVID-19 Income support schemes were established in March 2020, of which 56.4% were male and 47.6% were aged between 25 and 44 years of age. From the weekly breakdown of those benefitting from PUP or EWSS, it can also be seen that the number of those receiving the payment has decreased on a weekly basis since week 31 January 2021”
The PUP is administered by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). The TWSS was replaced by the 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 who have provided TWSS and EWSS data to the CSO for statistical purposes and dissemination to users. Monthly and weekly estimates of the numbers being directly supported by the EWSS are included in PxStat tables published today.
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 33.7% 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 May 2021 in the traditional way and provide details of COVID-19 income support payments (see CSO LRW07, LRW08, LRW13-LRW18) 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.
Catalina Gonzalez, Labour Market Analysis - (+353) 87 646 7535
Catalina Gonzalez (+353) 21 453 5163 or Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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