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Irish COVID-19 Jobless Claims Tumble And Irish Services Growth Surges As Indoor Hospitality Services Resume

By Dave Simpson

The resumption of indoor hospitality services for individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and individuals who have recovered from the virus has pushed the number of people claiming temporary COVID-19 jobless in Ireland benefits down 15% in the last week, which is the largest fall since the economy's third and longest lockdown began to be unwound.

Just over 163,000 people received the payment for those who lost their jobs due to one COVID-19-related lockdowns.

Ireland's unemployment rate stood at 18.3% at the end of June, including the then 228,000 recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Irish Services Growth Surges To 20-Year High In July

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Meanwhile, a survey has found that growth in activity in Ireland's service sector surged to a 20-year high in July as the country continued to ease COVID-19-related restrictions, but the boom is fuelling cost inflation.

The AIB IHS Markit Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 66.6 in July from 63.1 in June to hit its highest level since August 2000. That compares to a 2021 low of 36.2 reported in January, when the economy was placed back in lockdown after a surge in infections.

A reading above 50 indicates an overall increase in activity compared to the previous month.

As noted above, Ireland further eased restrictions in July by permitting indoor dining and drinking in bars and restaurants, though only to vaccinated customers and those who have recovered from COVID-19.

The July survey points to a "rapid rebound" in services activity, driven by the release of pent-up demand and greater confidence among consumers, AIB chief economist oliver Mangan said.

The strongest rate of growth was seen in the transport, tourism and leisure sector.

The recovery is helping to fuel inflation, with prices charged to customers increasing at their fastest pace in nearly six years, and input price inflation hitting a 13-year high.

Below 200,000 For The First Time

The above news follows last week's news that the number of people in Ireland claiming temporary COVID-19-related jobless benefits had fallen below 200,000 for the first time since the payment was introduced last year after dropping by 5% week-on-week as indoor hospitality services resumed, government data has shown.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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