The unemployment rate, adjusted to include those on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), rose to 7.5% in December compared to 6.9% in November.
The traditional seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate fell from 5.2% or 135,000 people in November to 5.1% or 132,100 people in December, the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office show today.
The PUP had been closed to new applicants in July last year.
However, it was reopened to those who lost their jobs due to the re-imposition of some restrictions on December 7.
Today’s CSO figures show that the Covid-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4% for those aged 15-24 and 7% for those aged 25-74.
The traditional measure of joblessness was 10.6% for those 15-24 and 4.3% for those aged 25-74.
Commenting on today’s CSO figures, Jack Kennedy – economist at global job site Indeed – said that 2021 saw the labour market in a strong position considering the “harsh” challenge that Covid-19 posed during the year.
“The Irish economy has again demonstrated its ability to create jobs in large numbers as it bounces back from adversity, with 16,900 fewer people unemployed between at the end of December 2021, compared to a year ago,” Jack Kennedy said.
He noted that the recent surge in coronavirus cases, and the fast spread of the omicron strain, has so far not led to the sort of strict lockdown measures that were required previously, which has helped keep the main unemployment rate trending downwards last month.
“The ‘scarring effects’ of the pandemic in terms of long-term unemployment appears to have been effectively mitigated by robust Government intervention and underlying high levels of labour demand,” the economist said.
“However, one area of concern is youth unemployment which remains stubbornly high at 10.6%. This was an issue even before the pandemic and is substantially lower than the EU average of almost 16%,” he added.