Unemployment rate falls in April, but youth still heavily impacted by curbs

Excluding those on PUP, unemployment rate stood at 5.8%, up 1.1% from previous year

“Latest unemployment statistics continue to reflect the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy,” says the  Grant Thornton chief economist. Photograph: iStock

“Latest unemployment statistics continue to reflect the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy,” says the Grant Thornton chief economist. Photograph: iStock

 

Ireland’s Covid-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 22.4 per cent in April, down slightly on the previous month.

The latest figures from the Central Statistic Office includes those claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

That adjusted unemployment figure has declined in recent weeks as coronavirus restrictions have been eased and the economy has begun to gradually reopen. In March the overall unemployment rate was 23.8 per cent, and a year earlier the rate was 30.5 per cent.

However, younger age groups have been significantly impacted by the economic shock. The Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment – which includes those on the PUP – stood at 61.8 per cent for those aged 15 to 24 years, with almost 132,000 potentially unemployed.

For the age group 25 to 74 years, the rate was 18.4 per cent, with an upper rate of 383,202 unemployed.

Excluding those on the PUP, Ireland’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 per cent in April, up 1.1 per cent from the previous year. April’s seasonally adjusted rate was in line with with March’s figures, with 134,700 unemployed.

“These latest unemployment statistics continue to reflect the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy. While the prospects for recovery remain tied to how successfully the vaccine rollout can be implemented, there is a greater sense of hope that the economic engines can restart in earnest over the weeks ahead,” said Andrew Webb, chief economist at Grant Thornton Ireland.

“Watching the extent to which the various pandemic-supported jobs come back on stream will be a major focus of attention over the summer. The hope is that the underlying unemployment rate, which is now 5.8 per cent, doesn’t begin to accelerate.”