Over 500,000 People Claim Unemployment Payments

02 Apr 2020 | 02.13 pm

Over 500,000 People Claim Unemployment Payments

CSO data show extent of wreckage in private sector

02 Apr 2020 | 02.13 pm

The last week of March saw a massive surge in the numbers out of work. The CSO estimates c.510,000 people are now claiming unemployment benefit.

The seasonally adjusted Live Register figure of 207,200 was up 24,400 on February. Central Statistics Office data counts separately 283,000 people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and 25,100 people benefiting from the government’s Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

CSO senior statistician Edel Flannery commented: “The majority of those whose income from employment has been affected due to Covid-19 are being facilitated through the pandemic payment, while a smaller cohort are currently being facilitated through the wage subsidy scheme.

“These emergency payments are not captured in the traditional methodology of the Live Register which is a historical series that captures the number of claimants for Jobseekers Benefit and Jobseekers Assistance.”

As the government hopes the emergency payments will be temporary, the CSO has decided to keep the figures separate rather than interfere with the longer term Live Register figures and their trends. 

Grant Thornton chief economist Andrew Webb said: “While many hope that the economic path this year reflects a V shape i.e. a sharp decline followed by an equally sharp bounce back, the longer we remain in this state the more difficult it will be to kick start the economy.

“A major challenge for when the coronavirus emergency passes will be to ensure that good businesses don’t slip through the net and close permanently. The risk of challenges faced now becoming forever problems is increasing with each passing week.”

Indeed economist Pawel Adrjan added: “Job postings on Indeed Ireland on March 27 were down 32% on last year’s trend — a larger drop than in Italy. While we have seen many announcements of layoffs and salary reductions from Irish companies, there are also sectors where workers are urgently needed. Employers in the medical equipment, healthcare and the grocery sector are all actively hiring.”

Pix: RollingNews.ie

 

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