On June 3rd, 2020 the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Monthly Unemployment (MU) figures for May. As the CSO have been doing since the March release, they provided the figures with and without the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In May, 139,200 people were classified as unemployed, and their Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) was 5.6%. This represents an increase of 14,400 people on the same month last year, and a 0.4% increase in the unemployment rate. There were 41,300 people aged 15-24 unemployed, an increase of 1,500 over the year. Their MUR was 13.5%, a decrease of 0.3% on May 2019. For people aged 25-74, there were 97,900 people unemployed, an increase of 12,900 people. Their MUR was 4.5%, an increase of 0.5% over the year.
However, the picture changes dramatically when the figures are adjusted for the huge impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. Looking at what the CSO call the ‘upper bound’ i.e. that everyone on a COVID-19 would be classified as unemployed, the number of people out of work increases to 645,704, and their unemployment rate is 26.1%.
For people aged 15-24 years, the upper bound of young people out of work stands at 158,495 and their Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) moves from a lower bound of 15.7% to an upper bound of 51%. While for the older age group, people aged 25-74 years, the upper bound of people out of work stands at 487,208, and their MUR goes from 4.4% to 22.5%.