Jobs of 3,400 young people in Waterford and South East under threat: report
The pandemic is threatening the jobs of more than 10,000 people employed in the drinks and hospitality sectors in the south east, according to a new report.
The report – titled ‘Employment in the drinks and hospitality industry: the threat of Covid-19 to jobs and how to minimise it’ – was commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) and carried out by DCU Business School economist Anthony Foley.
It shows the 15-24 age group, which comprises nearly a third of all accommodation and food service employment in the region, is “particularly exposed” and could suffer 3,400 job losses before the end of this year.
The report suggests that as many as 63% of all accommodation and food services jobs in Ireland, 114,000 in total, which includes jobs in pubs, restaurants, and hotels, could be lost by year’s end without further supports. This includes 36,300 jobs among the 15-24 age group.
In the south east – counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow, accommodation and food service jobs make up 8.5% of all employment.
Commenting on the findings, DIGI chair Liam Reid said: “Dublin’s lockdown, and further restrictions on restaurants and pubs serving food, will have grave material consequences for thousands of livelihoods, hundreds of businesses and local communities, and Ireland’s long-term economic prospects.
“Every drinks and hospitality business owner across the country realises the public health risks associated with Covid. They have supported the longest hospitality lockdown in Europe and where they have been able to open, they have taken steps to ensure their staff and customers are safe, and that their premises are controlled environments, and invested tens of thousands of euros doing so.
“If the 2008 crash showed us anything, it’s that what we lose now cannot be simply reconstructed next year. If businesses cannot operate, jobs will go. This is a highly precarious industry, and every week of closure counts. The long-term risk is enormous, and a specific package of support measures is urgently required.”