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covid support Increase of over 2,000 people claiming jobless Covid-19 payments since last week

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THE number of people claiming jobless Covid payments has stabilised since last week at over 350,000.

This is an increase of 2,006 people, or 0.6pc, on the 350,072 receiving the payment last week.

However, an extra 145,000 people have signed on for it since the start of October as restrictions tightened during a second wave of the virus.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the Government “hopes to be in a position” to consider easing restrictions from early December later this week.

She said this will hopefully allow some people to return to work.

There are now 352,078 recipients of the pandemic unemployment payment, at a weekly cost of just under €104m.

Another 203,172 people are on the Live Register, according to the latest figures for the end of October.

The highest number of people receiving the payment work in the accommodation and food services sector at 102,777.

This is followed by 57,292 from the wholesale and retail trade and 31,273 from other services including hairdressing and beauty salon workers.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the 352,000 people on the payment represents an increase of over 145,000 since the start of October.

“These past few weeks have not been easy,” she said. “I know people are tired and just want life to get back to some normality.

“In the meantime as a society, we must do everything within our power to continue to suppress this virus and to significantly reduce the rate of transmission.

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"By working together now and in the weeks ahead, we can all play our part in ensuring that families across the country will be able to come together and celebrate this Christmas in a meaningful way.”

Meanwhile, 89,399 people have been medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 enhanced illness benefit since March.

A total of 2,296 people are currently in receipt of the payment.

The sectors with the greatest number of people medically certified for the payment are in the wholesale and retail trade, followed by health workers, and manufacturing staff.

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