OECD: From Ireland to the US, the thousands of people employed by small firms are the hardest hit in the crisis

OECD: From Ireland to the US, the thousands of people employed by small firms are the hardest hit in the crisis

Small firms, or SMEs, from Ireland to the US, account for “the bulk” of the jobs hardest hit by the global lockdowns and are the most likely to fail the longer the restrictions last, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD, has said.

With a share of 42%, Ireland is among one of the countries whose small firms account for a large part of the jobs which are the most affected by the Covid-19 economic crisis, the OECD figures show.

“Although policy measures in many countries will help to mitigate the potential for job-losses — as opposed to economic activity where falls are inevitable in the short-term — a prolonged slowdown will increase the risks of closures, especially in the vulnerable population of SMEs,” the organisation said.

“The economic sectors most directly affected by lockdown measures represent 40% of total employment on average across OECD countries,” it said.

It said that while food retailers continued to trade “many others, such as restaurants and cinemas, experience a complete halt in activity”, the OECD noted.

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