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Covid-19 unemployment rates fell in September but 'significant impact' remains

CSO figures show that the unemployment rate in September for people aged 15 to 24 rose to 18.9% – down from 19.5% in August.

THE MONTHLY UNEMPLOYMENT rate among young people fell to 18.9% in September, statistics released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today show. 

The CSO said that Covid-19 continues to have a “significant impact” on Ireland’s Labour Market. 

Figures show that the unemployment rate in September for people aged 15 to 24 is now 18.9% – down from 19.5% in August. 

However, the unemployment rate could be as high as 36.5% for people aged between 15 and 24, according to CSO statistics -  down from 37.7% in August. 

The CSO used a Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment in September to include people in receipt of Covid-19 benefit payments. 

Figures show that the unemployment rate across all ages – including those receiving temporary Covid-19 jobless benefits – fell to 14.7% at the end of September.

The unemployment rate stood at 4.8% before Covid-19 and hit a record 28.2% in April after 600,000 people claimed payments. 

Excluding people on pandemic support, CSO figures show the unemployment rate across all ages rose to 5.4% in September from 5.2% in August.

Screenshot 2020-09-29 at 15.54.43 - Display 2 Source: CSO.ie

(Can’t see this graphic? Click here.)

Commenting on recent proposed changes to the Covid-19 income supports, CSO said today they were originally set up as short-term emergency income supports.

It noted, however, that they have been extended several times and there have been changes made in terms of the eligibility criteria.

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“While the PUP and the TWSS were both expected to cease in August, the latest announcements have indicated that the PUP is expected to continue further into 2021 while the TWSS has been replaced by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme from September,” the CSO said.  

The CSO said today that it will continue to evaluate the current income support schemes and any new schemes to determine whether any changes are required to the methodology for its traditional or Covid-19 adjusted estimates. 

“Ireland’s labour market recovery so far has been impressive, bouncing back quickly from the record high Covid-adjusted unemployment rate of 28.2% we saw in April, but there’s still a long way to go,” said Jack Kennedy from recruitment website Indeed said.

“ hile the continued decline is a welcome sign, the Covid adjusted rate still stands at 14.7 per cent, almost 10 percentage points higher than the standard rate this time last year,” Kennedy said.

“As the economy is now officially in recession, the upcoming Budget will be pivotal in determining how the labour market recovers. As with previous downturns, the impacts can be unevenly felt and threaten to deepen the divide across sectors, regions and age groups.”

“We are seeing a K-shaped recovery whereby those in better financial positions are less impacted than those less well off.”

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