Irish unemployment rate rises for first time in a year

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DUBLIN, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Ireland’s unemployment rate, including those receiving temporary COVID-19 jobless benefits, rose to 7.5% in December from 6.9% a month earlier, the first increase in a year following the tightening of COVID-19 restrictions.

The government shut nightclubs and cut capacity at indoor events in early December before imposing an 8 p.m. curfew on the hospitality sector two weeks later. The adjusted jobless rate was still significantly down on the 21.7% a year ago, the data from the Central Statistics Office showed on Wednesday.

A senior minister said last week that the rise in Pandemic Unemployment Payment recipients has so far been lower than expected but that the number would likely increase this month before ministers considers easing any restrictions.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Photo – EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

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