On June 23rd 2021, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the Monthly Unemployment (MU) figures for May 2021. The publication of these figures was delayed as the CSO completed work on the Labour Force Survey Quarter 1, 2021. The unemployment figures reported for April in early May have been revised upwards from 134,700 to 181,300 people.
174,700 people were unemployed in May, 2021, 61,600 more people than in May, 2020. The Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) was 7.8%, 2.7 higher than a year ago. Unemployment increased for both men and women over the period; women accounted for 44% of the unemployed in May 2020 and 45% in May 2021.
In May 2021, 37,600 people aged 15-24 were unemployed, 1,700 more young people than a year ago. Their MUR was 18.1%, while in May, 2020 it was lower at 16.1%. Over the year unemployment increased amongst young men by 12% to 17,500, while 20,100 young women were unemployed, very similar to the figure in May 2020. In May 2021, women account for 53% of those unemployed in this age category and their unemployment rate was higher at 20.5%.
For people aged 25-74, 137,000 people were unemployed, an increase of 59,800 people over the year and their MUR had increased by 2.9 to 6.8%. Over the year unemployment increased for both men and women over the year by 63% and 100% to 77,900 and 59,100 respectively. Women account for 43% of those unemployed in this age category and their unemployment rate is slightly lower at 6.4%.
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 unemployment payment would be classified as unemployed. In this case the number of people out of work increases to 487,122 and the unemployment rate is 21.9%. Women account for 46% of those unemployed and their unemployment rate is 22.3%.
For people aged 15-24 years, the upper bound of people out of work stands at 121,778 and their Monthly Unemployment Rate (MUR) moves from a lower bound of 20.1% to an upper bound of 58.8%. Women account for 52% of those unemployed in this age category and their unemployment rate was an astonishing 64%.
While for the older age group, people aged 25-74 years, the upper bound of people out of work stands at 365,344 and their MUR ranges from 6.8% to 18.1%. Women account for 44.5% of those unemployed in this age category and their unemployment rate was 17.8%.