Unemployment rate - including those on PUP - stands at 16.7%

THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE in Ireland now stands at 16.7% including those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), latest figures show. 

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that the unemployment rate reduced again last month after a level of 22.5% recorded in June.

Just over 41% of people in the labour force aged between 15 and 24 were unemployed in July and 13.7% of those aged 25 and over. 

Excluding those who receive the PUP, the unemployment rate stands at 5%.

A CSO statistician, Catalina Gonzalez, said those in receipt of the PUP don’t meet the criteria to be defined as unemployed.

They said the figures including those on the PUP should be considered the “upper bound” for Ireland’s true unemployment rate. 

“The latest announcements have indicated that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is expected to continue into 2021 while the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will be replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme from 1 September,” Gonzalez said. 

“The CSO will continue to evaluate the current income support schemes and any new schemes to determine whether any changes are required to the methodology for our traditional or COVID-19 adjusted estimates.” 

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Last week, the Department of Social Protection came under fire after Minister Heather Humphreys said those in receipt of the PUP who holiday abroad would have their payments ceased.

The minister then announced that people on the PUP or Jobseeker’s assistance could travel to countries on the ‘green list’ without losing their payments.

The department later identified 85 cases where people had their PUP stopped but may be entitled to it. 

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