Category: START regional profile, Location: Midlands, Ireland, Date: May, 2020.
The Midland Region (NUTS 3) is part of the Eastern and Midland Region (NUTS 2), which includes the capital city of Dublin. The Midlands is home to 292,301 people (2016). It is a largely rural region, in which agriculture and the peat industry have traditionally made up an important share of the economy. In recent years, the Eastern and Midlands Region has benefited from population growth. This trend is particularly prominent in the Eastern Region (+17.4% between 2000 and 2016), followed by the Midlands Region (+16.1% between 2000 and 2016) and Dublin Region (+13.5% between 2000 and 20161). Since the economic downturn of 2007, overall employment in Ireland has been recovering. In 2019, the unemployment rate of the Midland Region was equal to the national average of 4.5%, and below the EU28 average of 6.3% (Eurostat, 2019) – a historical low. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has implications for regional employment figures in the Midlands and adjacent counties. In addition to people already receiving support under the Live Register (total of 43,491, 7.2% of the national total in 2020), 115,600 people have been registered under the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) since March 2020 (DEASP, 2020), compared to a national total of 283,037 (CSO 2020).