On November 4th, 2020, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Monthly Unemployment (MU) figures for October. Again the CSO have published these figures with and without the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: though it is clear with the increase over the past year that the impact of COVID-19 is now appearing in the official / unadjusted data as well.
In October, 2020, 180,500 people were classified as unemployed, and their Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) was 7.3%. In October 2019, 66,300 fewer people were unemployed and their MUR was lower, at 4.7%.
The CSO also revised the figures for the past couple of months. The revised September Monthly Unemployment is similar to the October figure: a level not seen since the Autumn of 2016. The MUR published for September was 5.4%, in today’s release that figure is now 7.3%, the same as October 2020: a rate last seen in February, 2017.
In October, 2020 there were 57,600 people aged 15-24 unemployed, an increase of 26,300 over the year. Their MUR was 19%, an increase of 8.3% on October 2019. For people aged 25-74, there were 123,000 people unemployed, an increase of 40,200 people. Their MUR was 5.6%, an increase of 1.8% over the year.
The impact of COVID-19
To allow for and capture the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market, the Central Statistics Office produce a lower and an upper bound to the monthly unemployment figures. The ‘upper bound’ assumes that everyone on a COVID-19 payment would be classified as unemployed. In this case the number of people out of work increases to 501,640, and the unemployment rate is 20.2%.
For people aged 15-24 years, the upper bound of people out of work stands at 137,044 and their Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) moves from a lower bound of 17.7% to an upper bound of 45.3%. While for the older age group, people aged 25-74 years, the upper bound of people out of work stands at 364,596, and their MUR goes from 5.4% to 16.7%.