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Esmond Birnie

Chancellor driven by spectre of youth unemployment

Esmond Birnie


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Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Every recession, including this one, is unique. For some of us, however, this does feel like back to the 1980s, which was the last time that mass unemployment loomed, especially for the young.

There are some tentative signs that the lockdown recession may have begun to bottom out in late April/early May.

Nevertheless we could still see a decline in Northern Ireland's GDP of 10% or so in 2020, alongside an increase in unemployment to about 10% with only a very slow recovery thereafter. One of the many great unknowns is what happens as the furlough scheme ends.