The number of people claiming the Government's pandemic unemployment payment has continued to fall across Co Longford
The number people claiming the State's pandemic unemployment payment across county Longford has fallen by almost half over the past ten weeks.
Latest figures from the Department of Social Protection have revealed 2,500 people were in receipt of the special subsidy scheme up until yesterday (July 14), down 2,000 from the county's overall figure taken at the beginning of May.
The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the payment is accommodation and food service activities followed by wholesale and retail trade with administrative and support service activities accounting for the third highest figure.
Nationally, 345,600 are currently availing of the emergency subsidy, representing a drop of 67,300 on the 412,900 recipients who were still signed up to it last week.
The drop is the largest weekly decrease of the payment to date with 44,400 people having closed their claim in the past seven days alone.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the decline was indicative of an economy that was steadily beginning to emerge from one of the worst and most sudden fiscal downturns in recent memory.
“It is heartening to see that the phased approach set out in the 'Roadmap to Recovery' is now being reflected in the number of people returning to wor,” she said.
“(Tuesday’s) figures are reassuring for employees, businesses and communities throughout the State as they clearly show people getting back to work with a significant fall in the number of people in every county receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.”
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said she was especially pleased to see a gradual rise in the number of employees from the accommodation and food industry returning to work.
The Cabinet is now expected to approve the drafting of legislation that will mean those who have lost work due to the public health crisis will continue to clock up PRSI contributions.
Those contributions are vital in the protection and entitlement to future payments - including the State pension, illness, maternity and paternity benefits.
As it stands, recipients of the pandemic payment do not qualify for either paid or credited social insurance contributions.
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