Unemployment falls as reopening stalls

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30 June 2021

The CSO reported that the Covid-19 adjusted unemployment rate fell to 18.3% in June, from 21.9% in May. These figures are an estimate based on the Live Register and Covid-19 related claims. The main unemployment rate fell to 7.6% in June on a seasonally-adjusted basis, down from 7.8% in May, but up from 5.7% twelve months ago. 

Jack Kennedy, economist at global job site Indeed, comments on the latest CSO data:

“Today’s numbers indicate a further positive downward trend in the Covid-19 adjusted unemployment rate, which stood at  18.3% in June. This decrease can be attributed to further business reopening and people finally being able to return to their jobs in sectors that have been suspended for months. The leisure and retail sectors opening up more also have the added benefit of giving people the opportunity to spend their discretionary income locally, which hopefully will give a boost to their communities and help stimulate further jobs. 

However the worry will remain for those in sectors such as aviation or entertainment that will likely be the last to resume full activity. Similarly, with a delay to the next stage of re-opening announced, it’s likely we’ll see recovery slow until it’s safe to recommence the recovery roadmap.

The headline unemployment rate has edged down to 7.6%. This is an important measure to watch out for once the pandemic supports begin to wind down. It’s likely some people won’t return to work straight away and we may see some upward pressure on that standard rate – although how much remains to be seen. It will be critical that there are strong efforts towards job creation and reskilling in the coming months to absorb the slack that will inevitably emerge as that support is wound down.

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