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Extended Government support will be required to heal labour market wounds

Written by Robert McHugh, on 7th Jul 2020. Posted in Ireland

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According to the latest update from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP), 63,000 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) last week, the largest fall since the economy started to reopen. 

It is estimated that 45,000 of these will receive their last payment today. In total, 413,000 people will receive a PUP payment today, which represents a 22% reduction from its peak in early May. 

In addition, 221,000 are receiving regular unemployment assistance, 52,000 are on Enhanced Illness Benefit and 410,000 are on the temporary wage subsidy.
 
Goodbody Stockbrokers expect to see further reductions in the number of people receiving the PUP in the coming weeks, reflecting the reopening of further sectors of the economy and the changes to the scheme’s rules, which will begin this week. 

The sector with the largest proportion of payments is the accommodation and food sector, which accounts for over a quarter of the current recipients. With tourism effectively closed and accounting for 10% of total employment in Ireland, this remains the most vulnerable sector, despite the likely surge in domestic trips that are likely in the coming weeks as a result of the government’s decision to delay the publication of advice of travel corridors.
 
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "As we noted previously, Ireland’s decision, on health grounds, to reopen in a very cautious manner relative to the rest of Europe has major consequences for the extent of recovery and the labour market. As part of a July stimulus announcement, due next week, we expect there will be further tweaks to both the wage subsidy scheme and the PUP. Incentivising a return to work and maintaining a link between the employer and employee should be key to these policy efforts."

Source: www.businessworld.ie 

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