More than one million people jobless or on Covid payments, according to CSO

More than one million people were either on the Live Register for June or received emergency payments created following the Covid-19 crisis, official statistics have revealed.
More than one million people jobless or on Covid payments, according to CSO
James Doorley of the NYCI claimed the Programme for Government has neglected the issue of youth unemployment. File picture: Tommy Clancy.
James Doorley of the NYCI claimed the Programme for Government has neglected the issue of youth unemployment. File picture: Tommy Clancy.

More than one million people were either on the Live Register for June or received emergency payments created following the Covid-19 crisis, official statistics have revealed.

The latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) employment figures found some 1,002,470 people either on the Live Register for June, or receiving either the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) or the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).

In the last week of June, 438,933 were in receipt of the PUP, while 382,018 persons received the TWSS, the CSO said.

The seasonally adjusted Live Register total for June 2020 was 213,700, down 14,200 from May, the statistics body added.

CSO statistician Catalina Gonzalez issued a caveat, however, saying: "This [overall] number is not the total of the three schemes, as there is some overlap between them due to the different frequency of the payments, and the fact that some people who are included on the Live Register but not receiving a payment, might be in receipt of either the PUP or the TWSS."

Meanwhile, the number of young people out of work has laid bare the lack of focus on youth unemployment in the Programme for Government, a leading organisation has warned.More than 96,000 people under 25 are in receipt of the PUP and 29,579 on the Live Register.

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) hit out at the "lack of urgency and focus on youth unemployment in the Programme for Government", saying there is no reference to youth employment or unemployment in the 125-page text.

NYCI deputy director James Doorley said: "At a time when we have 45.4% youth unemployment and over 146,000 young people out of work this omission is hard to understand or justify.

“We call on the new Government to address this deficiency in the coming weeks and months and remain committed to working with them in the interests of young jobseekers.”

What he called "vague references" to supporting upskilling and reskilling, labour market activation and enhancing apprenticeships would not cut the mustard, Mr Doorley said.

The National Economic Plan is not due to be published for another four months, in October. That sort of response to a crisis in youth employment is far too leisurely.

"We need the incoming Government to develop a youth employment plan in the first 30 days to assist young people get back to work.”

The new Coalition must undertake a "rapid review of youth employment policy and measures", Mr Doorley said.

The NYCI said it was proposing that this review would inform a "credible and costed stimulus package" to support young jobseekers into education, training, apprenticeships and employment.

In relation to young people in work, the European Commission this week said it was proposing "significant EU financing opportunities" for youth employment in "green and digital" transitions.

It is now for the EU member states to prioritise these investments, it said, adding that at least €22bn should be spent on youth employment support.

"We need to act fast. Now is the time to direct our attention towards the next generation," the Commission said.

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