April figures show 62% unemployment among under-25s

The CSO figures show a high unemployment rate in younger people
April figures show 62% unemployment among under-25s

James Cox

The unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 was 61.8 per cent in April, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The unemployment rate was 22.4 per cent in April, which includes those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

That's a slight drop on the figure for March, according to the CSO.

For those aged 15 to 24, the rate is 61.8 per cent and for people aged 25 to 74 the rate is 18.4 per cent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been cited as the main reason for high unemployment rates.

While the standard measure of monthly unemployment was 5.8 per cent in April 2021, the Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of unemployment indicates a rate as high as 22.4 per cent if all claimants of the PUP were classified as unemployed.

Caution

Statistician Catalina Gonzalez said “caution” needs to be exercised when considering the Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of unemployment for under-25s.

Ms Gonzalez said: “The Department of Social Protection (DSP) have supplied supplementary information on whether PUP recipients were in full-time education when asked to certify their status online on the MyWelfare.ie service. While it should be noted that this information is not complete, it is estimated that at least 8.1 per cent of all recipients of the PUP were attending full-time education at the time of certification. For those aged 25 years and over this could be as low as 1.3 per cent while it is at least 33.8 per cent for those aged under 25 years.

“This analysis indicates that caution needs to be exercised when interpreting the Covid-19 Adjusted Measure of unemployment particularly for those aged under 25 years. If the PUP scheme did not exist, those persons, being in full-time education, would not be eligible to receive Unemployment Assistance or Unemployment Benefit and so would not be included in the methodology to estimate the traditional measure of monthly unemployment.”

Jack Kennedy, economist at job site Indeed, said: “One area that will be on the minds of the many unemployed young people will be summer work. Traditionally a great way to boost employment among this cohort, it will be interesting to see if figures improve for young people.

“There are 61.8 per cent of those under 25 classed as unemployed under the Covid adjusted measure, albeit this likely overstates true unemployment as receipt of the PUP payment, which is likely to be temporary for many. Summer work can also provide the means for young people to transition from school into the labour market, something that cannot be underestimated in terms of professional development.”

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