A total of 82,773 foreign nationals over the age of 15 received PPS numbers in Ireland last year, and just over half of these people were engaged in employment.
A Central Statistics Office report looked at the employment and social welfare activity of foreigners in Ireland as well as their PPS number allocations.
“Of the 82,773 foreign nationals aged 15 years and over who were allocated new PPSNs in 2015, 41,853 had employment activity during the year,” the report said.
Overall, there were 94,707 PPS numbers allocated to foreign nationals across all age groups last year.
This represented the first decrease in the number of allocations following increases in all years since 2011.
Of the 40,920 foreign nationals over the age of 15 who received PPS numbers last year and were not engaged in employment.
24,061 of the people concerned were aged between 15 and 24, and 3,061 were age over 65. Therefore, they could have been in education or in retirement, and not necessarily claiming social welfare.
The CSO figures did, however, show social welfare activity in the report.
There was a small rise in the number of foreign nationals (over 15 with PSS numbers) engaged in social welfare activity.
The CSO figure for this relates specifically to the people who had been allocated a PPS number since 2010 and what their situation was in 2015.
“In 2015, 10,075 [17%] of the 59,131 PPSN allocations from 2010 recorded social welfare activity,” reads the CSO report.
Social welfare activity does not necessarily indicate unemployment as it refers to one-off claims, such as dental and optical benefits, and ongoing claims, such as jobseeker’s benefit or jobseeker’s allowance, pensions, and illness payments.
On a positive note, a total of 374,466 foreigners who were assigned PPS numbers during the period from 2002 to 2015 recorded some employment last year.