Personal Finance

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Wages bouncing back to boom levels

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

Published 22/04/2014 | 02:30

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WAGES have bounced back to boomtime levels for some new staff but many are still stuck with recession rates.

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An Irish Independent survey reveals that salaries offered for some jobs have risen by up to 37pc, more than wiping out the slump in pay brought by the economic crisis.

Figures supplied by major recruitment agencies show signs of green shoots in the hiring markets, as the top salaries paid for most roles have risen.

But the lowest wage rates being given to less experienced new recruits in the same jobs are still in the doldrums.

A sample of salaries offered for jobs in finance, IT, office support and retail show that salary ranges have widened considerably in many cases. Although employers are prepared to offer bigger pay packets to the right candidates, they are also paying less than they were in 2007 at the other end of the salary scale.

For instance, the highest wages being offered to the most highly skilled personal assistants to executives is €55,000 a year now, up to €15,000 more than in 2007. However, the least a company is paying a recently hired employee is a salary of €25,000, €5,000 less than the pre-recession rate.

Pay levels have bounced back for accountants, technical support staff in IT, receptionists and customer service representatives.

The best paid tech support staff, who provide computer assistance to office staff, were offered salaries up to €60,000 a year in 2007. Their wages plummeted to €51,000 during the downturn, but have since jumped by 37pc to €70,000.

The highest earning IT project managers' pay is up 19pc since 2010; receptionists are enjoying a 7pc boost, while customer service representative wages are up 9pc.

Retail assistants' wages fell during the recession, but the better paid new hires are being offered higher pay as well as bonuses and commission again.

In contrast, the lowest paid retail assistants, office managers, executive PAs, accountants and HR managers are earning between 10pc and 20pc less in some cases than they were pre-crisis.

Experts said the figures showed evidence of green shoots for some of the most highly qualified candidates.

However, pay for most existing staff has been frozen for the last few years.

Official figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the average weekly wage was €720 at the end of 2008, but had fallen to €687 by the end of last year.

However, the largest employer group IBEC said half of its members planned to give "modest" pay rises this year and next.

Irish Independent

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