Cliff Taylor: Jobs in the firing line as the country moves to Level 5

Smart Money: How do we calculate the likely economic cost of ongoing lockdowns?

The concern now is that as more businesses run into financial trouble, even with Government supports, many will not make it through.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The concern now is that as more businesses run into financial trouble, even with Government supports, many will not make it through. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Large parts of the economy are in lockdown again. How do we assess the economic costs of this? Data, outlined below, shows how many people never returned to work after the first lockdown in the most-affected sector. The worry now is a ratcheting upwards of the numbers out of work as lockdowns come and go.Yet huge uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook. How we do assess the economic damage of the latest move to Level 5 ?

1. The immediate hit

The Government estimates that some 150,000 to 200,000 people will now be put on to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, many for the second time. It is impossible to estimate this exactly as some employers will chose to try to keep people in work, helped by wage subsidies, while others will be unable to do so. The State will pay either way.

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