Over half a million people on some form of unemployment benefit

 

Over half a million people are now claiming some form of unemployment benefit amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It's the highest number ever recorded, surpassing levels seen at the height of the crash.

The Central Statistics Office figures for March show over 182 thousand people on the Live Register, claiming the usual jobseekers' benefit.

Not included in that are the more than 283 thousand availing of the government's pandemic unemployment payment of 350 euro a week.

There are also 25 thousand people covered by the temporary scheme to subsidise people's wages.

It means over 513 thousand people across the country are now claiming some form of unemployment benefit - that's almost a fifth of the entire workforce.

Of those claiming the special pandemic payment, almost a quarter are under the age of 25.

The CSO is planning to provide a further breakdown of which workers have been most affected.