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Ireland's unemployment rate would be 28.2% if people on pandemic payment were included

The CSO has said people on the payment do not meet the definition of being unemployed.

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IRELAND’S JOBLESS RATE would be 28.2% if claimants of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) were classified as unemployed, the CSO has said. 

Last month, the CSO confirmed that people in receipt of the PUP “do not meet the internationally agreed criteria to be considered as unemployed” and therefore can’t be counted in the usual seasonally adjusted rate.

The CSO has therefore started to publish two separate rates.

In this morning’s bulletin, the CSO says that using the standard methodology the unemployment rate is at 5.4% in April, up from 5.3% for March. 

When people on the PUP are included the adjusted unemployment rate is 28.2%, an increase from 16.5% last month

“This Covid-19 Adjusted Monthly Unemployment measure includes those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the calculation of the adjusted unemployment rate. It should be considered as the upper bound for the true rate of unemployment and the standard monthly rate as the lower bound,” senior statistician at the CSO Edel Flannery said today. 

Providing a further breakdown of the figures, Flannery adds:

This Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment indicates a rate of 30% for males and 26.1% for females. Breaking the results down by broad age group, the new Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment indicates a rate of 52.8% for those aged 15 to 24 years and 24.8% for those aged 25 to 74 years.

The CSO has said that there are no now 602,107 people in receipt of the PUP while 425,204 people are benefiting from the government’s Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

The government has confirmed this week that both supports would continue for past the initial end date of mid-June but have hinted that the level of support would decrease.

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Rónán Duffy

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