Ireland expects unemployment as high as 15% by year-end

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Ireland expects its unemployment rate to be between 13% and 15% at the end of 2021, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Thursday as the government continues the gradual unlocking of one of Europe’s toughest coronavirus lockdowns.

The country’s unemployment rate, including those in receipt of temporary coronavirus-related jobless benefits, stood at 18.3% at the end of June.

A sharp fall in the number of people claiming the temporary benefits began to stall in the past two weeks, though pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve some customers indoors for the first time this year before the end of the month.