Una Mullally: Young people will take their revenge at the polls

The young have had a devastating pandemic. Politicians will ignore this at their peril

Young people have massive political influence, if they use it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Young people have massive political influence, if they use it. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Youth unemployment in Ireland now stands at 59.2 per cent, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Young women in this cohort (15-24-year-olds) are faring even worse, and their rate of unemployment now stands at 64 per cent. In January 2020, the rate of unemployment in this cohort was 11.8 per cent. Whichever way you slice it, this increase is terrible. 

There is an assumption that this number will plummet “when things open back up”. Of course the lockdown and mandated closure of businesses is having a massive impact, and is the main contributing factor to this explosion in youth unemployment. A lot of those businesses will “come back”, but staffing levels may be different. A lot of the businesses won’t come back. We’ve already seen many independent businesses and larger big-brand retailers go to the wall. Those jobs are gone. 

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