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Data confirms minimum wage workers disproportionately hit by pandemic job losses - Louise O'Reilly TD

8 April, 2021 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly TD has said new data from the ERSI showing the effect of the Covid crisis on minimum wage workers reinforces the need for the government to continue to support workers through Wage Subsidy Schemes and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The pandemic has ripped through our society and economy, but new data from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), has outlined how minimum wage workers in Ireland were more likely to suffer disproportionately from job losses arising due to the pandemic.
“The ESRI data, similar to reports from Eurostat last year, reinforces that younger workers are more likely to be minimum wage workers, and therefore more likely to be affected by pandemic related job losses.
“The report outlined how 43% of all minimum wage workers are employed in accommodation, food, wholesale or retail sectors - a higher share than in any country examined in the study.
“This further underlines the need to introduce a Living Wage, and also the necessity for the Government to facilitate economic diversification through the expansion of manufacturing, ICT, green technology and energy, medical technology, agri-food, and other growing sectors.
“The government is a critical player in the economy, in economic development, and in economic direction; and as we move through this crisis the government has to build a more robust, progressive economy – a high wage, high growth, and high productivity economy that works delivers for workers and society.
“A significant takeaway from the data, however, is the need for the government to guarantee certainty by continuing the wage subsidy scheme and the PUP until we can put structures in place for businesses to bounce back and for people to re-enter employment as we exit the crisis.”

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