Unemployment rate continues to fall in August down to 15.4%

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Kenneth Fox
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) have reported that the Covid-19 adjusted unemployment rate fell to 15.4 per cent in August, compared to 17.6 per cent in July.

The figures are an estimate based on the live register and Covid-19 related claims.

The CSO said they are now producing a supplementary measure of unemployment in parallel with the routine monthly unemployment estimates.

The main unemployment rate rose to 5.2 per cent in August on a seasonally-adjusted basis, up from 5.1 per cent in July, and 4.9 per cent twelve months ago.

The CSO said that looking at figures by sex, the unemployment rate is 5.1 per cent for males and 5.3 per cent for females. In terms of age, the unemployment rate is 17.5 per cent for people aged 15 - 24 years and 3.8 per cent for people aged 25 - 74 years.

Meanwhile, the alternative COVID-19 adjusted unemployment measure for August 2020, which includes those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), shows an unemployment rate of 15.4 per cent for all people.


14.8 per cent of those are males and 16.1 per cent of females in the labour force are unemployed. In terms of age, the adjusted unemployment rate for those on PUP is 37.8 per cent for persons aged 15 - 24 years and 12.6 per cent for persons aged 25 - 74 years

Supplementary measure

Speaking about the approach taken regarding today's figures, Catalina Gonzalez, CSO statistician said: ‘Those in receipt of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) at the end of August 2020 do not meet the internationally agreed criteria to be considered as unemployed for the purposes of the compilation of the standard Monthly Unemployment Estimates.

"This COVID-19 Adjusted Monthly Unemployment measure includes those in receipt of the PUP in the calculation of the adjusted unemployment rate. It should be considered as the upper bound for the true rate of unemployment and the standard monthly rate as the lower bound."

She said the approach preserves the methodology of the standard monthly unemployment estimates series while at the same time providing transparency around the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market.

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