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Employment crisis may intensify after Christmas; trade and business sector struggling to survive

The trade and business sector in Ireland is struggling to survive the Covid crisis.

As the Covid epidemic continues to rage and new regulations come into force, there is concern about how long it will last. Covid has now disturbed the long-awaited Christmas season too.

Many businesses were shut down and employees laid off as revenues plummeted. Some also cut short the staff numbers following the financial crisis.

Meanwhile, Professor Edgar Morgenroth at DCU Business School, an economist, said that despite the new closure, many people will lose their jobs in the country’s retail sector and restaurants after Christmas.

The trade sector in Ireland will face a major crisis in the coming weeks. He said the Level 5 restrictions had adversely affected the festive season for shops and hospitality businesses.

The new regulations will darken the hopes of traders in the Christmas market, and high rents will lead businesses to collapse.

He said the restrictions should have been enforced in counties or sectors, rather than imposing stricter restrictions nationwide.

Unemployment is unlikely to be as high this time as it was during the last lockdown. This is because construction activities are permitted in Level 5. However, Edgar says there will be fluctuations in job availability.

At the same time, the PUP rose to 244,153 last week, is a reflection of the tightening of local regulations even before the Level 5 restrictions were imposed.

Economists warn that unemployment will rise in the coming weeks.

The unemployment rate is expected to rise above 20% and most likely it will stay in between 20-30%.

At the same time, the government has decided to pay 350 euros a week as part of the fourth phase of the PUP to those earning 400 euros or more before losing their jobs as part of the regulations.

Earlier in the week, the government had announced 203 euros for those earning less than 200 as part of the PUP.

Tom McDonnell, co-director at the Nevin Economic Research Institute, meanwhile, said low – income people have been penalized from PUP.

He also demanded that the government pay everyone 350 euros as part of the PUP as long as Covid exists.

Dermot O’Leary, chief economist at Goodbody, said the unemployment rate would rise above 20 percent again as part of the Level 5 restrictions.

At the same time, business group Isme also made it clear that businesses would not survive the Level 5 restrictions if measures such as wages and subsidies were not taken.

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