Global job site, Indeed say the unemployment rate rose to 5.4% in March on a seasonally-adjusted basis, up from 4.8% in February, and up from 5.0% twelve months ago.
Including claimants of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on the assumption that they would be eligible for Jobseeker’s Benefit/Jobseeker’s Allowance, the adjusted unemployment rate would be 16.5%. These figures are an estimate based on the Live Register and Covid-19 related claims, more detailed unemployment statistics will be available at a future date.
Indeed say the most severe declines are in those sectors where activity has been mostly or completely shut down. Beauty & wellness jobs have taken the biggest hit, with postings on Indeed down 80% on last year’s trend. This is followed by hospitality & tourism (down 76%) and food preparation & service (down 68%).
The figures show that people are adapting to this quick turn in the labour market by searching for remote working opportunities. There has been a surge in Ireland in people seeking remote work in recent weeks, with searches rising 158% between February and March.
Indeed has also seen a big increase in searches for the term ‘all vacancies’, which rose by 104% in the past month. This is an indicator that location is the primary concern for some jobseekers at the moment as they seek opportunities close to home, and are perhaps willing to look outside their normal occupation to do so.
Commenting on the data, Economist at global job site Indeed, Pawel Adrjan said, "Coronavirus has already caused significant job losses in March and this is likely to get worse in the coming weeks, given how the virus has affected economic activity globally. If those in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment were classified as unemployed, the March unemployment rate of 16.5% would be comparable to the 16% we saw at the peak of the financial crisis in 2012."
He added, "But these are March figures that don’t yet capture the soaring number of people who started receiving Pandemic Unemployment Payments since the end of March. A crucial question is where the total numbers will peak, and how many of those workers will be able to go back to their previous jobs when the pandemic is over."