May 11, 2020 / 10:50 AM / 16 days ago

Ireland sees first drop in COVID-19 jobless payment recipients

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The number of people claiming emergency coronavirus-related unemployment payments in Ireland fell on a weekly basis for the first time on Monday, although a greater number of people signed up to a separate government wage-subsidy scheme.

The number of recipients of the higher, temporary payment introduced in March edged down to 589,000 from 598,000, an official from the prime minister’s office told a news conference. When including these recipients, Ireland’s unemployment rate hit a record 28.2% in April.

The adjusted unemployment rate does not include 456,200 people on the subsidy scheme for impacted companies, where the state agreed to pay 70% of wages up to a maximum of 410 euros a week until at least June. That was up from 427,400 a week ago as the economy prepares to gradually reopen from next week.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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