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State Support

A CSO Frontier Series Output- What is this?

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Key Findings

  • Over 113,000 enterprises had personnel availing of COVID-19 income support in January 2021
  • The percentage of enterprises with personnel on COVID-19 income support peaked in April 2020 at over 57% while the lowest was in September 2020 at over 30%
  • Of the 242,681 enterprises in the analysis, almost 7% had all of their personnel in receipt of PUP since the first lockdown in March/April 2020
  • Almost four in ten (38.4%) enterprises had not availed of any COVID-19 income support
  • The Accommodation and Food Service activities sector had the largest uptake of the Wage Subsidy Scheme
Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) onlyPandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS/EWSS)Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS/EWSS) only
Mar-2046.522.631.25
Apr-2043.618.654.96
May-2041.5210.015.38
Jun-2035.2710.245.55
Jul-2024.499.456.95
Aug-2020.447.867.47
Sep-2020.385.594.49
Oct-2025.036.853.73
Nov-2027.535.123.26
Dec-2027.176.173.29
Jan-2135.877.313.42

January 2021 had the highest number of enterprises availing of State support since June 2020

Of the 242,681 enterprises in the base population in 2018, 61.7% availed of the Wage Subsidy Scheme or the Pandemic Unemployment Payment at least once between March 2020 and January 2021. The percentage of enterprises with personnel availing of COVID-19 income support was 46.6% in January 2021. The uptake of support peaked in April at 57.2% compared to a low of 30.5% in September.

More than half (57.6%) of enterprises had associated persons in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) at least once between March 2020 and January 2021. Over 100,000 enterprises had personnel in receipt of PUP in January 2021, the highest since June 2020.

More than one in five enterprises (22.4%) had received a payment via the Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS/EWSS) in the period March 2020 to January 2021. In January 2021, 10.7% of enterprises had personnel availing of WSS compared to the peak of 16.4% in July 2020. See Figure 2.1 and Table 2.1.

2.1 Enterprises which availed of Wage Subsidy Scheme and/or had associated persons on Pandemic Unemployment Payment, March 2020 - January 2021

X-axis labelManufacturing (C) Construction (F)Transportation and Storage (H)Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)Other Service Activities (S95, S96)All Sectors
Mar-2023.3940.6243.6917.3443.1727.1
Apr-2026.1244.4745.9319.3645.4229.51
May-2025.3743.3944.4918.8444.9828.81
Jun-2020.1430.5741.7917.4342.3423.82
Jul-2012.0216.4835.5813.3921.9915.54
Aug-208.9911.4830.1111.1613.1211.92
Sep-207.578.6429.0510.3610.4810.33
Oct-209.3810.4434.6613.3334.5814.04
Nov-209.7211.1235.6113.8936.114.61
Dec-209.9312.3336.114.6836.8515.08
Jan-2116.6431.6239.2816.4139.9821.5

Since the first lockdown, all personnel were in receipt of PUP continuously in almost 7% of enterprises

Of the 242,681 enterprises in the analysis, 6.8% had all personnel continuously in receipt of PUP since the first lockdown in March/April 2020. In January 2021, 21.5% of enterprises had all personnel in receipt of PUP. April 2020 had the highest proportion of enterprises in which all personnel were in receipt of PUP at 29.5% while September 2020 had the lowest (10.3%).

In the Transportation and Storage sector 22.4% of businesses had all personnel in receipt of PUP continuously since the first lockdown in March/April 2020. This sector includes taxi operators and hauliers. The rate in this sector peaked in April 2020 (45.9%) before falling to a low of 29.1% in September 2020. Following an increase in Government restrictions, the rate began to rise from October 2020, and by January 2021, 39.3% of enterprises in this sector had all personnel in receipt of PUP.

In the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector, 10.1% of businesses had all personnel in receipt of PUP continuously since the first lockdown. A quarter of enterprises in the sector (25.4%) had all persons engaged in receipt of PUP in January 2021, the highest since June 2020 (29.3%). The rate peaked in April and May 2020 to over three in ten (31.2%) enterprises then steadily fell to 14.7% in September before rising again over the winter.

The Other Service Activities sector had their highest proportion of enterprises with all personnel in receipt of PUP in April 2020 at 45.4%. This fell to 10.5% by September before increasing to 40.0% by January 2021. Of the 14,472 enterprises in this sector, which includes hairdressers, yoga instructors and funeral services among others, 7.8% had all personnel continuously in receipt of PUP since the first lockdown in March/April 2020. See Figure 2.2 and Table 2.2.

2.2 Percentage of enterprises with all persons engaged in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment by sector, March/April 2020 - January 2021

X-axis labelHairdressing and other beauty treatment (S9602)Building completion and finishing (F433)Beverage serving activities (I5630)Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores (G4771)
28 Apr-2080.670.869.266
19 May-2080.469.469.265.5
09 June-2080.148.268.564.5
30 June-2077.434.367.247.1
21 Jul-2030.524.163.438
18 Aug-2021.51759.733.1
08 Sep-2020165831.6
29 Sep-2019.51551.430.1
20 Oct-2072.919.865.354.6
10 Nov-2075.821.865.758.4
01 Dec-2076.422.165.758.4
22 Dec-2049.822.364.740.9
12 Jan-2177.952.367.161.9

Enterprises with personnel on PUP

Analysing certain NACE Rev. 2 activities that had associated persons in receipt of the PUP reveals the change in uptake following the implementation and easing of restrictions. Almost seven in ten (69.4%) enterprises in Building completion and finishing activities, which includes plasterers, painters and fitters etc. availed of the PUP on 19 May 2020. This declined to 15.0% by 29 September 2020 following Phase 1 easing of restrictions on 18 May 2020. Uptake in PUP increased again following the nationwide implementation of Level 5 restrictions on Christmas Eve to 52.3% on 12 January 2021.

Similarly, following Phase 2 easing of restrictions on 8 June 2020, the proportion of enterprises in Retail sale of clothing in specialised stores declined from 64.5% on 9 June to 30.1% by 29 September 2020. Following the nationwide Level 5 restrictions on 21 October, this increased to 58.4% in November before falling to 40.9% in December and increased again to 61.9% by 12 January 2021.

Phase 3 easing of restrictions on 29 June saw a sharp decline in PUP uptake in Hairdressing and other beauty treatment businesses as they were allowed to re-open. Enterprises in this activity which had associated persons on PUP decreased from 77.4% on 30 June to 19.5% by 29 September 2020. This increased to 75.8% during the October lockdown. It fell in December to 49.8% before increasing to 77.9% by 12 January 2021 following the re-introduction of Level 5 restrictions. See Figure 2.3 and Table 2.3.

2.3 Percentage of enterprises with associated persons on Pandemic Unemployment Payment by selected NACE Rev.2 activity, March 2020 - January 2021

X-axis labelAll personnel
continuously on PUP
Mar/April 2020 - Jan 2021
Taxi operation
(H4932)
34.39
Photographic
activities (M7420)
26.33
Motion picture, video and television
programme production activities (J5911)
11.58
Beverage serving
activities (I5630)
10.18
General cleaning of
buildings (N8121)
10
All activities6.8
Business and other management
consultancy activities (M7022)
3.58
Retail sale of meat and meat products
in specialised stores (G4722)
2.06
Computer consultancy
activities (J6202)
1.81
Engineering activities and related
technical consultancy (M7112)
1.66
Veterinary activities
(M7500)
0.51
X-axis labelNo personnel
on income support
Mar 2020 - Jan 2021
Computer consultancy
activities (J6202)
70.41
Veterinary activities
(M7500)
68.16
Business and other management
consultancy activities (M7022)
63.17
Retail sale of meat and meat products
in specialised stores (G4722)
62.35
Engineering activities and related
technical consultancy (M7112)
61.32
Motion picture, video and television
programme production activities (J5911)
42.68
All activities38.4
Photographic
activities (M7420)
37.64
General cleaning of
buildings (N8121)
32.6
Taxi operation
(H4932)
31.59
Beverage serving
activities (I5630)
27.06

More than a third of enterprises in the Taxi operation sector had all their personnel continuously on PUP since first lockdown

More than a third (34.4%) of enterprises in the Taxi operation sector had all personnel continuously in receipt of PUP since the beginning of the first lockdown in March/April 2020, while 31.6% had none of their personnel in receipt of either PUP or WSS during this time.

Over a quarter (26.3%) of enterprises engaged in Photographic activities had all personnel on PUP continuously since the first lockdown while 37.6% had nobody availing of COVID-19 income supports.

Seven in ten (70.4%) enterprises in the Computer consultancy activities sector had none of their persons engaged in receipt of either PUP or WSS since the first lockdown in March/April 2020 similar to 68.2% of enterprises in the Veterinary activities sector. This compares to 38.4% of enterprises in all activities. See Figure 2.4a, Figure 2.4b and Table 2.4.

Table 2.4 Percentage of enterprises with all personnel continuously in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment or with no personnel availing of COVID-19 income support by selected NACE Rev.2 activities, March/April 2020 - January 2021

X-axis labelManufacturing (C) Construction (F)Information and Communication (J)Real Estate Activities (L)Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)All Sectors
Mar-2047.9137.4176.5874.1170.1449.7
Apr-2038.4330.1268.4769.2561.142.85
May-2039.073167.5269.0960.7843.16
Jun-2045.3745.9567.8871.0662.849.01
Jul-2055.7563.3771.7877.2768.9450.73
Aug-2061.0470.0874.2680.0672.264.32
Sep-2067.1777.2277.6883.3876.9969.64
Oct-2063.6574.5877.481.0875.9964.48
Nov-2063.6173.9177.4980.9276.4264.16
Dec-2063.472.3876.9980.6976.2663.45
Jan-2150.9545.357576.772.2653.46

Three quarters of enterprises in Information and Communication had none of their personnel availing of COVID-19 income supports in January 2021

Three quarters (75.0%) of the 12,175 enterprises in the Information and Communication sector had none of their personnel in receipt of WSS or PUP in January 2021. This was an increase from two-thirds of enterprises in the sector not availing of state income support during the first lockdown in April (68.5%) and May (67.5%).

Similarly, the Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities and Real Estate Activities sectors had high proportions of enterprises without any personnel in receipt of COVID-19 income supports with 72.3% and 76.7% respectively in January 2021. This was higher than the 61.1% and 69.3% during the first lockdown in April 2020. See Figure 2.5 and Table 2.5.

2.5 Percentage of enterprises with none of their persons engaged availing of COVID-19 State employee support by sector, March 2020 - January 2021

Large
(250+ persons
engaged)
Medium
(50-249 persons
engaged)
Small
(10-49 persons
engaged)
Micro
(<10 persons
engaged)
All size classes
Mar-2030.4618.3223.8852.3749.7
Apr-2022.5212.6814.3445.7442.85
May-2022.3512.2813.8846.1243.16
Jun-2020.211.8415.152.4849.01
Jul-2022.5213.3419.4463.2959.19
Aug-2024.3414.9922.5768.6664.32
Sep-2022.5215.0827.4774.169.64
Oct-2021.3613.6224.8468.6764.48
Nov-2019.8712.9924.768.3464.16
Dec-2017.8812.3424.0167.6463.45
Jan-2114.5710.3817.5857.2153.46

Micro enterprises accounted for the highest proportion of firms with none of their personnel availing of any COVID-19 income supports

Micro enterprises (<10 persons engaged) had the highest proportion of firms (41.4%) with none of their personnel availing of WSS or PUP at any point between March 2020 and January 2021. Over 45% of micro enterprises had persons engaged which did not avail of any COVID income support in April 2020. This rose steadily over the summer as restrictions eased before peaking in September at 74.1%. The proportion decreased over the winter to 57.2% in January 2021.

In January 2021, 14.6% of large enterprises did not have any personnel availing of COVID-19 income supports. This compares to 30.5% in March 2020 and 20.2% in June. The lowest proportion of small enterprises with all persons engaged not availing of income support was May 2020 with 13.9%. This increased over the summer months and peaked in September at 27.5% before decreasing to 17.6% in January 2021. See Figure 2.6 and Table 2.6.

2.6 Percentage of enterprises with none of their persons engaged availing of COVID-19 State income support, March 2020 - January 2021

Wage Subsidy Scheme
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)23.42
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (R92, R93)21.87
Mining and Quarrying (B)17.17
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of
Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles (G)
14.11
Manufacturing (C)14.07
Administrative and Support Service Activities (N)11.53
All Sectors10.73
Electricity, Gas, Stream, Air Conditioning, Water,
Waste Management and Remediation (D, E)
10.1
Construction (F)8.66
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)8.19
Other Service Activities (S95, S96)7.93
Information and Communication (J)6.92
Real Estate Activities (L)5.99
Transportation and Storage (H)4.72

Almost a quarter of Accommodation and Food Services businesses availed of WSS in January 2021

Almost four in ten (39.2%) enterprises in the Accommodation and Food Service Activities sector had personnel which received a payment via the Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS/EWSS) at some point between March 2020 and January 2021. In January 2021, 23.4% of enterprises in this sector were availing of the WSS compared to the peak of 31.3% in August 2020.

In January 2021, 21.9% of enterprises in the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector availed of the WSS. In July 2020, 26.9% availed of the WSS, which was the month with the highest proportion for the sector. Almost a third (32.6%) of businesses in the sector availed of the WSS at some point between March 2020 and January 2021. See Figure 2.7 and Table 2.7.

2.7 Percentage of enterprises with personnel availing of Wage Subsidy Scheme by sector, March 2020 -January 2021

Jan 2021
Irish-owned46.47
Foreign-owned53.88
Office based29.92
Non-office based53.85
Modern 28.95
Traditional47.7

Selected enterprise type

Non-office based enterprise personnel had a higher uptake of WSS or PUP at 69.0% compared to office based enterprises (44.9%) at some point between March 2020 and January 2021. In January 2021, 29.9% of office based enterprises had personnel on COVID-19 income support compared to 53.9% of enterprises that were non-office based. April saw the highest uptake for non-office based enterprises when 64.9% availed of the State's COVID-19 income support compared to 39.6% of office based enterprises.

There were 61.6% of Irish-owned enterprises with staff who were in receipt of either the WSS or PUP at some point between March 2020 and January 2021. The corresponding figure for Foreign-owned enterprises was 65.9%. In January 2021, foreign-owned enterprises had a higher proportion of enterprises that availed of support at 53.9% compared to 46.5% for Irish-owned enterprises.

Businesses classified as Traditional had more enterprises (62.8%) that availed of the State's COVID-19 income support at some point between March 2020 and January 2021 compared to Modern enterprises (43.3%). See Figure 2.8 and Table 2.8.

2.8 Percentage of enterprises which availed of Wage Subsidy Scheme and/or had associated persons on Pandemic Unemployment Payment by enterprise type, March 2020-January 2021

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