Numbers at work 'at their lowest level in 20 years': Unemployment rate hits 28%

Numbers at work 'at their lowest level in 20 years': Unemployment rate hits 28%
In the last week of April, 602,107 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Ireland's unemployment rate hit 28.2% in April when accounting for all Covid-19 payments.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) the standard rate would be 5.4%.

The CSO said the figures demonstrate the pandemic has continued to have "a significant impact on the labour market during April."

In the last week of April, 602,107 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

425,204 people were benefitting from the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

Separately the regular unemployment figure for April 2020 is 216,900, an increase of 7,500 from March.

Edel Flannery, a senior CSO statistician said the approach taken toward the figures differentiates between regular unemployment statistics and the Covid-19 payments.

She said: "As it would not be statistically beneficial or valid to break the current Live Register series to try and capture these temporary measures, it has been decided to compile the Live Register data for April 2020 in the traditional way and provide separate details of COVID-19 payments."

More than half of those in receipt of a welfare payment are aged 15 to 24, according to the CSO.

KBC Bank Chief Economist Austin Hughes said the figures show the impact the Covid-19 crisis is having on the economy.

He said: "It's quite an extraordinary turnaround. It's not a surprise, but the scale of it is really stark when we see it.

"It implies that we probably are looking at numbers of work now that are at their lowest level in 20 years.

"It gives a very clear view of how devasting the economic impact of Covid-19 has been on the Irish economy."

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