The Central Statistics Office has released the statistics for unemployment rates in April 2020. Unsurprisingly the unemployment rate has skyrocketed in April of this year to a whopping 28.2%. This is a record high in the Republic of Ireland since the inception of the Central Statistics Office over 30 years ago. For reference, the most recent recession hit 16% unemployment high in December 2012 which has now been surpassed by the numbers last month.
While it is an alarming number when compared to the number in April of 2019 when the number of those seeking unemployment benefits was at 5.2% or in March of this year when the levels were at 5.3%.
Though this can be attributed to the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic the number should, therefore, be taken with a grain of salt. Much of the 28.2% can be attributed to those who are seeking unemployment benefits due to loss of employment with the pandemic or are on illness benefit for the same reason. When taking into consideration those who are on Pandemic Unemployment payment the Central Statistics Office determines that the percentage for April is actually closer to 5.4%. This 5.4% represents those who would have been seeking employment in the event that COVID-19 had not come to Ireland. This still paints a bleak picture for those who are applying for payments from the state.
Despite these percentages, recruitment is still on-going throughout Ireland. Systems and applications have now changed with the new lockdown rules. For example, the State Recruiter for the Civil and Public service Publicjobs.ie currently has 116 positions advertised on their site.
Publicjobs.ie like many recruiters have moved their application processes online through zoom, web-based assessments, and other digital solutions. Public jobs, or the Public Appointment Services as they are also known, recruit for the largest employer in the state, the State. While the Central Statistics Office numbers are worrying there are opportunities for employment still available online through sites such as Publicjobs.ie.