Non-Irish more likely to lose jobs and contract Covid – ESRI

Reports find that east European nationals experienced a sharper fall in employment

Jobs in the food and accommodation sectors are highlighted in the ESRI report as at risk.

Jobs in the food and accommodation sectors are highlighted in the ESRI report as at risk.

 

Foreign nationals in the Republic are over-represented in sectors most severely affected by Covid-19 closures, and are more likely to contract the virus, according to a report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).

Two reports have been compiled by the ESRI and the Department of Equality and Integration on Tuesday. A study on Covid-19 and non-Irish nationals shows the effect of the pandemic on their employment, their role as key workers, and their exposure to Covid-19 infection.

It finds that east European nationals experienced a sharper fall in employment between the first and second quarters of the year compared with Irish nationals.

Occupations with medium to high levels of working from home are associated with lower job losses. Non-EU nationals and west Europeans are more likely to be working in occupations with medium to high levels of working from home than Irish nationals.

East European nationals are less likely than Irish nationals to hold jobs that are associated with working from home, and this “partly explains their higher rate of job loss”, the report notes.

Women from eastern Europe are “particularly vulnerable” to job loss and temporary lay-offs for Covid-related reasons. Jobs in the food and accommodation sectors are highlighted as at risk.

Those of black/black Irish ethnicity, those of Asian ethnicity and particularly Irish Travellers are over-represented in Covid-19 cases compared with their proportion in the population, the report states.

Those of Asian ethnicity are 2.3 times as likely as white Irish to contract Covid-19; those of black ethnicity about 1.9 times as likely; and Irish Travellers are 2.6 times as likely to contract the virus.

Foreign nationals overall are slightly over-represented in Covid-19 cases compared with Irish nationals (12.1 per cent), relative to their proportion in the population (11.4 per cent).

All ethnic minority groups and foreign nationals are under-represented in deaths from Covid-19, which is “likely to be linked to their younger age profile”.

Second report

The second publication, the Monitoring report on Integration 2020, is the latest in a series of reports on how foreign nationals fare compared to Irish nationals, in terms of employment, social inclusion and active citizenship.

It finds that in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, overall employment rates were slightly higher among foreign nationals than Irish nationals, and the unemployment rate, at just over 5 per cent, was similar and low for both groups.

One important exception is for African nationals, whose unemployment rate was 12 per cent. This pattern has persisted throughout the past decade. Finally, rates of home ownership were much lower among foreign nationals when compared with Irish nationals.

In 2017-2018 almost 65 per cent of foreign nationals lived in private rented accommodation, compared with 11 per cent of Irish nationals.

Commenting on the reports, Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman said: “Measuring integration outcomes on a regular basis is essential for us to know how different groups are faring, and where extra supports may be needed to help people to integrate successfully. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities here as in other countries. We clearly need to consider new approaches to tackle these persistent challenges.”