The question of when the labour market would turn has been occupying many economy watchers since early 2019. Towards the end of 2019, the question ‘is this as good as it gets?’ was consistently batted away with ever more declines in unemployment.
The weight of negative sentiment indicators was however making it a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ the labour market would turn. While it is too early to suggest this is the start of a trend, this decline is worrisome, especially as the global economic uncertainties show no signs of abating. Whoever emerges as Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection after the election will be hoping this increase in unemployment is just a blip. The department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection might prove a more challenging ministerial brief than many are hoping.