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Unemployment Rate May Take Fou...

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Unemployment Rate May Take Four Years to Recover

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8:46 AM - 3 Jul 2020



Ireland's unemployment rate may not return to pre-covid levels until 2024.

Just over 559,000 people, or 22.5 percent of the population, are now out of work, according to the Central Statistics Office.

The Central Bank expects this to fall to 14.5 percent by the end of the year, if lockdown measures continue to be unwound on a phased basis.

Its Director of Economics and Statistics Mark Cassidy says it could be 4 years before unemployment returns to levels seen before the pandemic.

"Even by 2022, our forecast unemployment is around 7 percent. Which is still 2 percent higher than pre-covid. We think it could be the end of 2023 possibly into to 2024 before unemployment might return to pre-covid levels."

The Bank is also warning that 30  thousand fewer homes could be built over the next 3 years due to the crisis. Activity in the construction sector is expected to decline by a quarter.

"We think housing output this year could be around 16 thousand units. Whereas previously we were forecasting around 26 thousand units. Indeed over the next three years, output could be lowered by around 30 thousand units compared to what we were previously expecting.  That will have a significant effect because there was already a serious shortage of housing in the country affecting many households and individuals."



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