The western region suffered a greater employment shock from Covid-19 than the rest of the State, according to new study from the Central Bank.

The research found that the counties of Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Limerick, Roscommon, Kerry and Sligo – also known as the Atlantic Economic Corridor (AEC) – were hit hardest because of the predominance of small, micro-enterprises and the concentration of jobs in consumer-facing sectors such as tourism and accommodation.

This left them more vulnerable economically to public health restrictions, the report concludes.

It noted that at the peak of the lockdown in April, almost a third of the labour force in Kerry and Donegal were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Workers in the “business economy” in these counties are far more likely to work in very small firms: 34 per cent work in businesses with under-10 employees, compared to 15.8 per cent in Dublin.

In Leitrim and Roscommon, almost half of workers are in very small firms and few in very large companies, signifying a lack of multinational presence, the report said.



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