Business

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Irish employees are working more for less money

Colm Kelpie

Published 26/02/2014 | 12:09

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Figures come from the Central Statistics Office this morning
Figures come from the Central Statistics Office this morning

WE're earning slightly less than we were a year ago, but working fractionally longer, new data suggests.

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Average weekly earnings totaled €687.28 at the end of last year - down 0.6pc from a year earlier, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said this morning.

And yet the number of paid hours worked rose by 0.3pc compared with the end of 2012, according to the preliminary data.

The CSO data also shows that labour costs, which are usually the biggest outlay for businesses, recorded a marginal fall during the year of 0.5pc.

Across the various sectors, average weekly earnings rose in 9 out of 13, with the largest percentage increase in the transportation and storage sectors which jumped 6.7pc to €766.85.

Administrative and support activities sector saw the biggest weekly decline, falling 3.2pc to €495.85.

The data comes just weeks after Taoiseach Enda Kenny called for further wage restraint in the economy to help foster job creation. Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, by contrast, has said firms that cut pay during the economic crisis should give their staff wage increases, once they can afford to do so. He feels pay increases would be desirable and would help aid recovery.

But the latest Earnings and Labour costs report from the CSO suggests some sectors have fared better than others on the issue of maintaining pay levels.

Between the final quarter of 2009 and the final quarter of last year, changes in average earnings across sectors ranged from being down 13.8pc in the health and social work sector, to rising 9.1pc in Information and Communication.

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