Monday 14 October 2019

Builders and truck drivers see pay hikes of nearly 20pc

Truck drivers and construction workers appear to be benefiting most in terms of pay increases as the labour market tightens. Stock photo
Truck drivers and construction workers appear to be benefiting most in terms of pay increases as the labour market tightens. Stock photo
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Truck drivers and construction workers appear to be benefiting most in terms of pay increases as the labour market tightens.

For truck drivers, advertised average salaries increased by almost a fifth between 2017 and 2018, to €32,000, according to global jobs site Indeed.

Meanwhile, as the construction sector booms, managers in the sector experienced advertised salary growth of 18pc over the same period, to €57,000.

Growing wage pressure in the construction sector is further shown by the latest pay claim from construction sector unions. They are looking for a 12pc increase over three years.

The Construction Industry Federation recently warned that nine out of 10 companies in the sector are struggling to recruit skilled workers.

Cost estimators saw a similar increase, 18pc, in the salaries in job ads that employers use to attract new hires.

There are currently wages of approximately €48,000 a year being advertised for roles in the sector.

Decline

"The continuing decline in the rate of unemployment is creating an increasingly competitive labour market that is likely to spur further wage growth," said Pawel Adrjan, an economist at Indeed.

"Average weekly earnings in the final quarter of 2018 were up 4.1pc on the prior year, according to recent CSO data. This was an acceleration in the pace of growth that looks set to persist if the current trend of falling unemployment continues."

Mr Adrjan added that, with inflation remaining low, these increases will translate into real wage growth and are likely to feed through into increased consumer spending and confidence.

Evidence suggests that wage increases will increase into the future, although this is partly dependent on Brexit.

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, there remains "considerable" downside risk to economic growth and employment which would almost certainly cause wage growth to soften, Indeed warned.

Meanwhile, trade union Siptu rejected claims by the Construction Industry Federation that the housing crisis would worsen if its members get a 12pc pay rise. Senior official John Regan said the industry is wealthy enough to absorb the increase.

Irish Independent

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