CSO figures show initial impact of COVID-19 on Ireland’s labour market

May 25, 2020

Labour Force Survey data for Quarter 1 2020, published by the Central Statistics Office (“CSO”), capture the impact on the labour market from the COVID-19 pandemic for the first quarter of 2020. Results for Quarter 1 of 2020 show that employment totalled 2,353,500 with an associated Employment Rate of 69.8 per cent for those aged 15-64 years.

Commenting on the figures, the Minister for Finance and for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., said:

“Today’s figures confirm that Ireland’s labour market began to feel the negative effects of COVID-19 towards the end of the first quarter of this year… Thereafter, the situation in the labour market should gradually improve, in line with the recently published Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, with unemployment steadily falling. My Department is projecting the unemployment rate to approach 10 per cent by the end of the year, with an average unemployment rate of around 14 per cent across the year as a whole.”

The top five takeaway points from the survey are as follows:

  • Results for Q1 2020 show that the associated Employment Rate for those aged 15-64 years was nearly 70 per cent.
  • At the end of March 2020, the COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate was 61.1 per cent, while the COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Rate was over 15 per cent
  • By the end of April 2020, the COVID-19 Adjusted Employment Rate fell to 51.4 per cent, with the COVID-19 Adjusted Unemployment Rate going over 28 per cent
  • There were 114,400 persons classified as Unemployed in Q1 2020 with an associated Unemployment Rate of 4.7 per cent for those aged 15-74 years
  • COVID-19 layoffs may be officially classified as either unemployed, in employment, or outside the labour force altogether depending on the individual’s circumstances.