SALARIES are rising again and at a much faster rate than previously during the great recession, according to new data published by the Central Statistics Office.
The figures show the average weekly salary in Ireland in the third quarter was €694.96 – 1.1pc more than the same period last year.
The data also shows the average worker puts in just 31.6 hours a week which mean the average hourly wage is now at €22.
The hourly wage has gone up 1.9pc in the past year, rising faster than total salary because people are working less.
Earnings rose in eight of the 13 sectors measured by the CSO. It's the third quarter in a row to see average increases,
Those employed in the professional, scientific and technical sectors, which include companies such as Google and Facebook, enjoyed the biggest rise of 8.4pc in weekly earnings, compared to the same period a year earlier. Worst off were those working in hotels and restaurants who saw salaries fall 5pc.
As always, there are considerable differences between the various sectors of the employment market with salaries highest among technology companies, although those working in education earn the most money considering their relatively meagre working hours.
Salaries in the public sector continue to outstrip the private sector by almost 50pc but the gap is narrowing slightly as the private sector awards itself bigger pay increases than the public sector.
The latest CSO figures show weekly earnings in the private sector rose by 1.6pc annually, compared with an increase of 0.9pc in the public sector (including semi-state organisations) over the year, bringing average weekly earnings to €617.94 and €925.51 respectively.
In last the three years, public sector earnings have fallen by 4pc compared with an increase of 1.4pc in the private sector.
Those working in the arts, entertainment and recreation have endured the largest pay cuts over the last four years with salaries falling 12.2pc.
Ironically, those most responsible for the economy's collapse have also seen the largest pay increases with salaries in the financial services and real estate sectors rising 5.1pc over the past four years.
Apart from hotel and restaurant workers, other areas that have been hit by salary cuts are in public administration and defence, which has seen a 7.9pc cut.
Industry has done relatively well with salaries rising 4.7pc.
The figures show the number employed in the public sector declined 4.1pc over the year to 377,900. The reduction in numbers over the four years from the third quarter of 2008 stands at 39,000, or 9.4pc, with the Army bearing the biggest losses.
Back in the private sector, there was good news for people working for small companies. Workers employed by companies with fewer than 50 staff enjoyed pay increases of 4pc in the past year, while companies with more than 250 employees only got 0.6pc. However, those who work for companies with 50 to 250 employees got a miserly 0.1pc.
All in all, the figures seem to suggest that anybody motivated by money should be looking for a job in the technology sector, working perhaps for a semi-state company with more than 250 people.