Well over 1.2 million workers are now dependent on State income supports because of the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.
More than 580,000 people are currently receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), launched on 16th March. This is on top of the 205,000 people who were already getting Jobseekers Benefit payments.
And over 450,000 workers are having part of their wages subsidised through the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).
The unemployment rate in Ireland is now at over 11%. It had fallen to 4.8%, below the EU average, just before the pandemic hit.
The hospitality, food, entertainment, construction, wholesale and retail sectors are among those hardest hit by the unemployment accompanying the pandemic.
A new report published by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) also shows that young, low-skilled, female and part-time workers are more likely to be among the group that have been laid off or lost their job as a result of Covid-19.
‘The initial impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ireland's labour market’ finds that 43% of all PUP recipients are under 35, which highlights the precarious nature of jobs held by young people.
Both the pandemic unemployment and TWSS scheme were initially set up for 12 weeks, and are currently set to expire in mid-June. But with so many people still out of work, the Government will come under pressure to maintain income supports.
The British Government recently extended some temporary Covid-related income supports into the autumn.