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Technical Note - Live Register August 2020

CSO statistical publication, , 11am

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Live Register: Recipient versus non-recipient claims

The Live Register measures the numbers of claims registered for Jobseekers Benefit (JB) Jobseekers Allowance (JA) or credited contributions1.

The Live Register can be considered as consisting of recipients, where a claim has been awarded and the person is in receipt of a payment or credited PRSI contributions, and non-recipients, where the person is not in receipt of a payment. Non-recipient claims include:

  • Awarded claims where payment has been suspended
  • Claims pending award
  • Disallowed claims

While most Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) recipients are not counted on the Live Register, the payment has had an impact on Live Register trends. There are cases where both a PUP and jobseeker claim belonging to the same person have been registered with the DEASP, but where no jobseeker payment is being made. This has resulted in overlaps between the PUP (where they are a recipient) and the Live Register (where they are a non-recipient). In cases where PUP claims transfer to the Live Register, this will mean a decrease in PUP without an equivalent increase in the Live Register. In cases of PUP exits to employment, non-recipient Live Register claims are being identified and closed where appropriate.

This process is currently underway within DEASP and relates primarily to cases where a person who received a PUP has since closed the 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. 

The Live Register release for August 2020 was originally scheduled to be published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last Thursday (03 September 2020). It was postponed and is being published today 07 September 2020. The Live Register release was postponed to allow the CSO some time to analyse the recipient versus non-recipient trends of the Live Register and to consider what impact the findings of that analysis might have on the August 2020 Live Register release.

Table 1 and Figure 1 present the breakdown of recipients versus non-recipients on the Live Register from January 2019 until August 2020.

Jan 201917909220535
Feb 201917819418740
Mar 201917473017677
Apr 201917018622932
May 201917166418203
June 201917536621742
July 201918410122295
Aug 201918022118872
Sept 201916438819395
Oct 201915905621403
Nov 201915972417830
Dec 201916813713859
Jan 202016450719248
Feb 202016454718069
Mar 202016785437355
Apr 202015983154910
May 202016395661706
June 202016997650895
July 202018143863124
Aug 202018107944765
Table 1 Live Register total classified by Recipient and Non-recipient January 2019 to August 2020

Table 1 and Figure 1 both show that the while the number of non-recipients was relatively stable from the start of 2019 until February 2020, the number increased substantially after February 2020 before seeing a sharp decline in August 2020. The number of non-recipients prior to March 2020 ranged from a low of 13,859 in December 2019 to a high of 22,932 in April 2019.

The number of non-recipients on the Live Register doubled between February 2020 (18,069) and March 2020 (37,355) and increased again each month to May 2020 (61,706) before falling slightly in June 2020 (50,895) and increasing again in July (63,124). It is important to note that while the total Live Register fell by 18,718 between July 2020 and August 2020, this fall was mostly in the non-recipient numbers which were down 18,359 (98% of the overall decrease).

Given that the LR series has always included non-recipient claims, none of the values published over this period are incorrect. However, the CSO may consider revision of the Live Register to improve the usability of the series.

This will require assessing the impact of the non-recipients and particularly those who are in receipt of the PUP enumerated on the Live Register to decide on the correct approach to take. The time table and methodology for these revisions to the Live Register series will be clearly outlined to users as soon as a decision is made in relation to them.

For now, the CSO have decided to publish the Live Register for August 2020 using the usual methodology but are also presenting this recipient and non-recipient analysis to provide information and transparency around the impact of non-recipient claimants on the overall Live Register totals in recent months.

Footnote: 1 - For example, jobseekers who have exhausted their entitlement to Jobseeker's Benefit but who do not qualify for Jobseeker's Allowance due to their means, they may be entitled to sign for credited PRSI contributions to protect their other social insurance entitlements (State Pension, State Maternity Benefit, Illness Benefit and other benefits that are based on the number of PRSI contributions)


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