Since restrictions were introduced in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19, the impact on the labour market in Ireland has been immense. From an unemployment level of approximately 110,000 persons at the end of 2019, the number of people in Ireland in receipt of income support payments from the State had risen to over 1 million by May 2020. As the reopening of the economy continues, the number of persons receiving these payments has fallen, although many continue to be supported by the State.
For the most part, this Bulletin refers primarily to the situation in the Irish labour market prior to 2020, as its main purpose is to gather relevant data sources to report on activity in the labour market in the previous year. However, where appropriate, and allowing for available data, the analysis is provided in the context of the changing situation that was brought about as a result of COVID-19. As official data on the labour market, which reflects the impact COVID-19 restrictions have had at occupational level, is limited, an identification of potential shortages at occupational level was not possible for this edition of the Bulletin. However, employment outlooks by occupation, presented in Section 9, are framed within the labour market in Ireland as it stands in the second half of 2020.