Ireland could face its highest unemployment rate in 35 years after the pandemic.
Social Justice Ireland (SJI) is warning that unemployment could soon top 390,000 – a higher rate than the country experienced at the height of the financial crash.
It over 1.2 million people had their employment affected by the pandemic, with nearly 246,000 not expecting to return to their old job.
SJI Economic and Social Analyst, Collete Bennett told Newstalk that Dublin and the South East will be the hardest hit.
“We are looking at an unemployment rate, post-pandemic, of about 21% in Dublin, which is just huge,” she said.
“You are looking at almost 155,000 people compared to the next-worst region, which would be the South East and that is 16.7%.”
Ms Bennet said the rest of the country will double its pre-pandemic unemployment level.
She said younger people are by far the hardest hit with the country now facing a “major explosion in youth unemployment.”
“There is a significant number of younger workers who have been impacted,” she said.
“Then, when you look at those who don’t expect to return to the same job, the highest proportion – almost 32% - of those aged 15 to 24 don’t expect to return to the same job.
“Almost one-in-four of those aged 25 to 34 don’t expect to.”
Older workers aged 60 to 64 have also been hit hard by the pandemic – with more than one-in-five not expecting a return to their old job.
The sectors with the highest proportion of workers who do not expect to return to their previous jobs are Information and Communications, Administration and Support Services and Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities.
Social Justice Ireland is calling for investment in upskilling those who are unemployed or at risk of unemployment.
It is also calling for a major investment programme focused on schools and a much larger social housing programme.