This report explores the impact of COVID-19 on Non-Irish nationals, including employment effects, their role as key workers and their exposure to COVID-19 infection. Key findings from the study include:
Early Labour Market Impact of COVID-19:
- Non-Irish nationals are over-represented in sectors severely affected by COVID-19 closures, including Accommodation and Food.
- East European nationals experienced a sharper fall in employment between Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 than Irish nationals.
- Non-EU nationals had a lower rate of employment immediately before the pandemic but the decline in employment they experienced was the same as Irish Nationals.
- Patterns for migrants from Western Europe are very similar to those of Irish nationals.
- Occupations with medium to high levels of working from home are associated with lower job loss. Non-EU nationals and West Europeans are actually more likely to be working in occupations with medium to high levels of working from home than Irish nationals. East European nationals are less likely than Irish nationals to hold jobs that are associated with working from home, and this partly explains their higher rate of job loss.
- Women from Eastern Europe are particularly vulnerable to job loss and temporary lay-offs for COVID-related reasons.
Key Workers in the Pandemic:
- Using the definition based on Level 5 restrictions from October, Irish nationals (47 per cent) are significantly more likely to be ‘key workers’ compared to non-Irish nationals (37 per cent). African (42 per cent) and Asian (42 per cent) nationals are the most likely to be employed as key workers among non-Irish national groups with rates closer to that of Irish nationals (47 per cent).
- Irish nationals (12 per cent) are significantly more likely to be employed in health and related sectors compared to all non-Irish nationals (9 per cent). However, African (24 per cent) and Asian (26 per cent) nationals have significantly higher rates of employment in the health sector than other groups.
COVID-19 Deaths and Cases
- Using special tabulations on cases and deaths up to 24th November provided by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) we show that those of Black/Black Irish ethnicity, those of Asian ethnicity and particularly Irish Travellers are over-represented in COVID-19 cases compared to their proportion in the population. Note these data are incomplete, as not all cases could be assigned a nationality or ethnicity, and results may change over time.
- Based on these data, those of Asian ethnicity are 2.3 times as likely as White Irish to contract COVID-19; those of Black ethnicity around 1.9 times as likely as White Irish to contract COVID-19; Irish Travellers are 2.6 times as likely to contract COVID-19 as the White Irish population. Non-Irish nationals overall are slightly over-represented in COVID-19 cases compared to Irish nationals (12.1 per cent), relative to their proportion in the population (11.4 per cent).
- All Ethnic minority groups and non-Irish nationals are under-represented in deaths from COVID-19, which is likely to be linked to their younger age profile.