The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ireland's labour market

Minister Doherty announces the publication of a working paper on the initial impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Ireland’s labour market

The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, has announced the publication of a working paper on the initial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ireland’s labour market. The working paper was prepared by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection in collaboration with the Central Bank of Ireland for consideration by the Labour Market Advisory Council.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the essential public health measures to contain the spread of the virus, saw the largest monthly increase in the unemployment rate in the history of the State.

Currently, more than 1.1 million people are in receipt of social welfare unemployment supports which comprises:

  • people on the Live Register
  • people receiving the newly introduced COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)
  • employers availing of the COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS)

On the basis of jobs lost (or displaced), the most severely impacted sectors are tourism, hospitality and food services; retail; and construction.

Those who have lost their jobs as a result of the impact of COVID-19 are more likely to be young, low-skilled, female and previously in part-time employment. This reflects the higher share of these workers in the industry sectors most affected (retail and hospitality).

An examination of the financial position of households of those previously employed in sectors where the fall in employment has been 25 per cent or more has found that these households have very little savings or income put by to mitigate against economic shocks or financial hardship.

View the working paper on the initial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ireland’s labour market

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