14 January 2022
Go to release: Live Register December 2021
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has today (14 January 2022) issued results from the Live Register in respect of December 2021.
Commenting on today’s publication, Morgan O’Donnell, CSO Statistician, said:
“The unadjusted Live Register total for December 2021 was 163,856. When seasonal effects are considered, the seasonally adjusted Live Register total for December 2021 was 166,300, which is a decrease of 2,600 persons from November 2021.
Outside of the traditional Live Register, in the last week of December 2021, 66,905 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). There were 308,357 fewer persons in receipt of the PUP at the end of December 2021 than at the end of December 2020. Users should consider the impact of Government restrictions when comparing the numbers of people in receipt of the PUP at different points in time. It is also necessary to take into consideration that the PUP was closed to new applicants on 08 July 2021 before being reopened for individuals, including the self-employed, who lost their employment on or after 07 December 2021 following the introduction of COVID-19 related public health restrictions.”
Commenting on monthly estimates of the numbers being directly supported by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), Morgan O’Donnell continued:
“The CSO have included monthly estimates of the number of persons being supported by the EWSS up to November 2021 in the Live Register release and in the PxStat series LRM20. 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 283,525 persons currently estimated to have been directly supported by the EWSS in November 2021, 47.1% were male and 52.9% were female while 25.3% were aged under 25 and 74.7% 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 November 2021 has also been made available today.
In November 2021, 491,912 persons were on the Live Register or were benefitting from the PUP, TWSS or the EWSS. Of those, 50.9% were male and 49.1% were female, while 18.7% were aged under 25 and 81.3% were aged 25 years and over. The number of persons supported by all schemes was down from 793,550 recorded in November 2020. November 2021 is the current low point of that series (491,912) while October 2021 (528,915) is the next lowest point of the series. The current high point of the series was reached in April 2020 (1,179,310). The COVID-19 income support schemes were introduced in March 2020 and the first payment of the PUP referred to the week ending 22 March 2020, while the TWSS was first paid on 24 March 2020, but could relate to earlier payslips.”
Commenting on further weekly aggregates of the COVID-19 income supports, Morgan O’ Donnell added:
“Tables providing the breakdowns of the numbers on the Live Register or receiving the PUP each week from March 2020 through to the week ending 02 January 2022 by sex, age group, county and nationality grouping are being made available today. These tables also contain breakdowns of the number of people being directly supported by the EWSS and the estimated number of persons benefitting from the PUP, TWSS or EWSS up to the week ending 31 October 2021 (See PxStat)."
The PUP is administered by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and was closed to new applicants from 08 July 2021. Under the Economic Recovery Plan, there has also been a gradual reduction in rates from 07 September 2021, while the process of possible transition of PUP recipients to a jobseeker’s payment began on 26 October 2021. The scheme has now reopened for individuals, including the self-employed, who lost their employment on or after 07 December 2021 following the introduction of COVID-19 related public health restrictions. The TWSS was replaced by the EWSS from 01 September 2021 and it is currently expected to continue until 30 April 2022. 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).
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 December 2021 in the traditional way and provide details of COVID-19 income support payments (see CSO PxStat 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.
For further information:
Contact: Morgan O'Donnell, Labour Market Analysis – 085-804-9155
Martina O'Callaghan (+353) 21 453 5491
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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