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Strict Irish COVID-19 curbs put 85,000 people temporarily out of work

DUBLIN, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Around 85,000 more people have claimed temporary COVID-19 jobless benefits since Ireland moved to the highest level of restrictions to fight the virus two weeks ago, fewer so far than the 150,000 estimated by government, data showed on Tuesday.

The limiting of restaurants to takeaway service and closure of non-essential retail pushed claims to almost 330,000 from 244,153 before the six-week measures were introduced on Oct. 22, far below a peak of 600,000 during a stricter lockdown in May.

Recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) have been on the rise since falling to a post-lockdown low of 205,000 at the start of October and are set to increase the unemployment rate to around 20% from 14.7% at the end of September. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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