The Covid-19 Pandemic and Ireland’s Labour Market: Insights through the Lens of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Characteristics of Impacted Workers

  • Ailbhe Brioscú Department of Social Protection
  • Jeff Dwan O'Reilly Department of Social Protection
  • Dermot Coates Department of Social Protection


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the introduction of rolling public health restrictions, conditions in Ireland’s labour market deteriorated significantly. In response to the widespread impacts on businesses and workers, the Irish Government, as part of a broader suite of policy measures, introduced the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in March 2020. Through the lens of the PUP, this paper explores the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ireland’s labour market and its implications for post-COVID recovery and policy. In particular, this analysis examines the demographics of impacted workers over time, rates of payment relative to pre-pandemic earnings and the potential scale of the post-COVID labour market challenge, via an exploration of long-term recipients.

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