Almost half the population have had employment situation affected by Covid-19

Darren Hassett


Darren Hassett


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Since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic there have been many changes to employment and day-to-day life for the people of Ireland.

The Central Statistics Office has analysed changes to work/employment, emotional well-being, effect on finances, and the impact on families for the Irish population aged 15 and over. 

Just under half of the population aged 15 years and over (47%) have seen their employment situation affected.

Employment effects due to Covid-19 include: loss of employment, temporary layoff, change in work hours, remote working from home or change to business model to online/takeaway etc.

The age groups with the lowest affected employment are the age groups 15-24 years and 65 years and over.

Employment impacts are most felt in the age group 35-44 years, where two-thirds report employment effects.

Employment affected rates are highest in the Eastern and Midland region where 51% of persons aged 15 years and over reported employment effects, compared to 44% in the Northern and Western, and Southern regions. 

The oldest age group (persons aged 65 years and over) are experiencing the most loneliness (30%) and fears around shopping (41%).

The youngest age group (15-24 years) report the second highest feelings of loneliness at 27%. This age group report the least fears around shopping.

Of the 47% of the population who have had their employment impacted by Covid-19, just over a third (34%) have started remote working from home and 23% of these employment affected persons have seen a change to their work hours. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the emotional well-being of the population aged 15 years and over, in that 17% are worried about money, 24% are feeling lonely and 26% are afraid to go shopping.

Older people aged 65 years and over are the most afraid to go shopping (41%). 

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen 46% of the population aged 15 years and over increasing positive family time, with 59% of the population increasing their contact with family via telephone, Skype, Face Time etc. 

Females are experiencing loneliness and fear to go shopping more than men, with 27% of females feeling lonely (compared to 20% of men) and almost a third (32%) of females saying they are afraid to go shopping (compared to a 20% of men).

Men exhibit marginally more money worries than females (18% to 17%). 

In the population aged 15 years and over, low levels of the population report financial difficulties as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 3% of the population aged 15 years and over reporting that they are unable to pay bills, 5% deferring bills and 2% reporting rent or mortgage payment difficulties.

The age groups from 35-44 to 55-64 years all report the highest rates for the deferring of bills and rent and mortgage payment difficulties. 

18% of the population (aged 15 and over) are caring for a dependent family member or friend because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

More females (21%) than men (15%) are caring for a dependent family member or friend, with persons in the 45-54 age group reporting the highest rates for caring (31%) as a result of Covid-19. 

The measures introduced as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic include more staying at home and less face to face family visits.

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in almost 60% of the population aged 15 years and over having increased contact with family via telephone, Skype, Face Time etc.

This life effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is the one reported by the population aged 15 years and over as the highest life effect experienced.

The rates of this effect increase with age, with two-thirds of the population aged 65 years and over experiencing this increased family contact via telephone and internet, as compared to just under half of 15-24 year olds. 

Almost half (46%) of the population have increased positive family time. The lowest rates of increased positive family time are experienced by the 65+ age group. See Table 4d.

With schools closed, childcare issues can be a significant life effect arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Almost a quarter (24%) of persons aged 35-44 reported experiencing childcare issues, with more females than men experiencing this life effect.