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CSO survey gives an insight into the impact of COVID-19 on people

Data offers revealing insight into how COVID has changed how we live and work

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The CSO's Employment and Life Effects report used data based on more than 2,200 responses to its quarterly Labour Force Survey collected from households between April 8 and 23.

The CSO's Employment and Life Effects report used data based on more than 2,200 responses to its quarterly Labour Force Survey collected from households between April 8 and 23.

The CSO's Employment and Life Effects report used data based on more than 2,200 responses to its quarterly Labour Force Survey collected from households between April 8 and 23.

A report compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) has offered a fascinating insight into life in Ireland since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CSO's Employment and Life Effects report used data based on more than 2,200 responses to its quarterly Labour Force Survey collected from households between April 8 and 23.

It gives a revealing snapshot into both the physical and mental impacts the Coronavirus has had on our lives and how it has created a dynamic shift in the way that we work and go about our daily business.

The report analysed data across a number of subsets exploring how COVID-19 has impacted on employment, emotional well-being, people's financial situations and family life.

On the subject of employment, it found that almost half of respondents (47 per cent) said the virus had impacted their working lives, with 14 per cent of those questioned saying they had lost their jobs, and 33 per cent have been temporarily laid off, with those under the age of 24 worst affected. Many younger people also reported finding paid work difficult to find.

Just over one third (34 per cent) of those still working are doing so remotely from home, with 12 per cent admitting they were working longer hours than before.

That was not the only issue raised relating to remote working, with many respondents experiencing difficulty working from home with family around.

On a more optimistic note, 94 per cent of those who have lost their jobs have been temporarily laid off, or are on paid or unpaid leave, expect to return to same job once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

The survey found that financial worries were not a great concern for many respondents, with just three per cent of respondents saying they are unable to pay their bills and just two per cent reporting rent or mortgage difficulties. It did find that males did exhibit marginally more money worries than females (18 to 17 per cent).

The COVID-19 restrictions have had an impact on mental health, with more than a quarter (27 per cent) of females and 20 per cent of males experiencing feelings of loneliness. However, the fear of contracting the virus is keeping people at home, with almost one third of females afraid to go shopping, compared to one fifth of males.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was those aged over 65 who have been cocooning that have experienced the highest levels of loneliness (30 per cent) and fears around leaving the house to go shopping (41 per cent).

However, staying at home has seen a considerable increase in the number of people staying connected either by telephone or online, with around 60 per cent of respondents saying they have increased contact with family and friends over the phone or by using portals such as Zoom and Skype.

While almost half of those surveyed reported an increase in positive face-to-face family time, the closure of schools has had a less welcome result, with almost a quarter of respondents experiencing childcare issues.

Corkman