It took four years for Ireland's unemployment toll to rise to its crisis-era peak of 444,905 in 2011 as the credit bubble imploded a decade ago.
The coronavirus pandemic and its lockdowns have achieved that and more in just weeks. We have ricocheted from being an economy at full employment to one where half the workforce is relying on the Government for some form of income support.
The Government expects up to 220,000 jobs could be lost by the end of this year overall, albeit with a strong bounce back next year as 115,000 jobs are created.
On a historical basis that pace of recovery looks optimistic. After the devastation of the financial crisis there was a robust recovery in jobs but it took seven years to the end of 2019. So while 468,000 jobs were created, that was an average of 67,000 a year.
The evidence shows the pattern of job losses in the last financial crisis repeated previous recessions. As the downturn hit, the rate at which people lose jobs spikes quickly. Then the pace of firings declines but the crisis is deepened by a slowing pace of job creation as companies stop hiring.
This time may be different. There is huge uncertainty about when any hiring can begin or its strength and durability. So even if the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, firms will still face fixed costs. For a hotelier in Donegal the outlook for tourism will be grim well after the lockdown, and they'd be foolhardy to take on extra costs or new workers.
The first and worst wave of job losses may be behind us but a survey by Ibec found many of the firms who responded plan job cuts, while one in 10 expected "substantial" reductions.
While the application of measures based on Germany's now widely copied short-term paid leave scheme has helped prevent a large number of redundancies here, it is not a miracle cure.
Rosie Colthorpe, who is European economist at Oxford Economics, notes that during the global financial crisis, the German scheme went hand in hand with a continued rise in the job-finding rate where in the eurozone as a whole there was a prolonged dip in hiring.
It is that prolonged dip that is the worry.
"If changes in the structure of the economy become permanent, governments will also have an important role in helping workers change sector or roles. But this will be much more challenging than just getting workers back to their old jobs," she said.
Ireland's experience of the pandemic also differs significantly from other EU countries in ways that could end up exacerbating existing gaps between jobs and wages.
Largely reflecting food and tourism, the State has a greater proportion of people working in industries that were closed by order than most other EU states, at close on 13pc against less than 10pc in the bloc plus the UK as a whole, according to European Commission data. There is also a far greater proportion of younger workers in industries that were closed by order here, with people under 30 accounting for 42pc of the workforce in those sectors.
At the same time, Ireland has the highest percentage of all states in the highly skilled workers category who can telecommute at 83pc, and the workers who can telecommute are by far the best paid in the bloc as well, with the highest income percentile in the EU.
Younger Irish workers took the biggest hit a decade ago and the country already has one of the widest economic disparities between regions, and there is a risk that without intervention, the situation for both will worsen dramatically.
Ibec has called for an investment of €700m in labour market activation measures and €300m in increased Jobs Plus funding to prevent long-term unemployment and enduring damage to the labour market,
At the same time, the Government will have to shift from supporting the economy to boosting it.
"The design of the stimulus should focus on public investment, as opposed to crude measures to boost consumption, eg tax cuts," Tom McDonnell, who heads the union affiliated Nevin Economic Research Institute, wrote recently, saying that meant a focus on public housing and on green projects.