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One in every five people out of work in October

Young people have been hit especially hard in the latest unemployment figures.

Image: Shutterstock/Rawpixel.com

THE MONTHLY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE rose to 20.2% in October, according to statistics released today from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

October’s figure represents an increase of 4.3% between September and October.

A significant proportion of the unemployed included in the Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment are in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), which is paid to workers who have lost their income as a result of the pandemic.

If PUP recipients were not included, the unemployment rate in October would be 7.3%, with no change from September.

Last year, the unemployment rate in October 2019 was 4.7%.

There is a particular disparity in the unemployment rate between younger workers and those aged 25 or older.

The Covid-19 Adjusted monthly unemployment rate was 45.3% in October in the 15-24 age bracket, with an equal level of unemployment experienced by both men and women in the age group.

Among people between the ages of 25 and 74, 16.7% were out of work in October, including 15.5% of men and 18.1% of women.

In a statement accompanying the figures the CSO said that the “reference week for the PUP numbers is the week containing the last Thursday of the reference month so, for October 2020, the reference week is the week ending Sunday 01 November 2020″.

“Thus, the increase in the Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment that was observed between September 2020 and October 2020 reflects the significant increase in PUP recipients due to the impact of Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions nationally since the middle of October 2020,” the CSO said.

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Over 34,000 additional people are now receiving PUP as of yesterday compared to last week before Level 5 restrictions were imposed.

Currently, there are 329,991 people in receipt of the PUP, with €95.5 million paid yesterday by the Department of Employment and Social Protection in PUP payments.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that the “increase in the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment was expected as a result of the move to Level 5 of restrictions”. 

“My department has processed and put into payment over 125,000 new applications for PUP in recent weeks,” Humphreys said. 

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