The number of people claiming temporary coronavirus-related jobless benefits in the State fell by a further 7 per cent this week, though the reprieve looked short-lived for many with the Government planning another shutdown of hospitality after Christmas.
Some 278,000 people will receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week, data showed on Monday. That means half of the roughly 150,000 people temporarily laid off after Covid-19 restrictions began to tighten from September have returned to work since the constraints were lifted this month.
➡️ 277,700 people are due to receive the #Covid19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week – down 28,500 on last week
➡️ Over €160 million paid out in PUP to cover this week and an advanced payment for next week
— Department of Social Protection (@welfare_ie) December 21, 2020
The Department for Social Protection said another 16,600 people will receive their final payment this week, having indicated they are returning to work.
The Government said it will decide on Tuesday how long to shut restaurants and pubs down for after Christmas with Covid-19 cases rising sharply again.