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Tech workers' pay soars three times faster than other wages



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Wages for thousands of full-time workers in growth sectors like information and communication technology (ICT) are surging ahead at three times other wages.

New data compiled by Independent.ie reveals a great divide between pay movements in a variety of sectors in the last year.

Average pay for administrative, transport and storage staff raced ahead by 6.6pc to June this year,

ICT workers still command the highest average yearly pay of €65,815. Their earnings rose by almost 5pc.

Staff in financial services, insurance and real estate are not far behind with a yearly gross pay packet of €64,856 a year.

However, the average pay fell for civil service and defence workers.

Many workers may not be feeling substantially richer as we enter 2020 due to the rising cost of living, particularly accommodation.

Even the fastest rise did not keep up with rent, which increased by 6.7pc in the same timeframe.

The lowest paid full-time workers in the accommodation and food services industry earn €26,683 a year. Their wages grew by 1.6pc in the 12 months to June.

The figures reveal that their earnings are now far behind the retail and wholesale trade.

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An upturn in construction meant those workers are also experiencing above average pay growth of almost 4pc with full-time earnings at €44,264.

The figures charting full-time earnings across the economy were compiled by the Central Statistics Office for Independent.ie.

Wages on average grew by 2.5pc in the year to June - the latest date for which final figures are available.

Average earnings across all sectors are €48,204 a year. This is an increase of 2.5pc from €47,038 a year in the previous 12 months.



Senior economist at the union-backed Nevin Economic Research Institute Tom McDonnell said wages had started to catch up with employment growth.

"We are seeing this throughout the West, including the US and parts of Europe," he said.

"Ireland is just catching up as it took us longer to recover."

He said if you subtract inflation costs from the average rise in earnings, there was a 'real' wage increase of 1.4pc.

"Thus, on average there was an increase in purchasing power for most of the workers," he said.

"However, most renters are likely to have experienced a further fall in living standards."

He said rent prices grew by 6.7pc to the second quarter of this year, down from 12.4pc to the middle of last year, according to Daft.

"Looking at annual earnings growth, we can see that rental inflation exceeded annual earnings growth in every economic sector," he said.

"Rent affordability therefore deteriorated over the period."

On the other hand, annual house price growth has since fallen to 0.9pc, giving workers some increased hope of being able to buy.

"As such, for full-time workers, average annual earnings in nine of the 13 economic sectors increased as a proportion of house prices and mortgage costs for potential buyers over the period," he added.

He said the fact that administrative workers had the fastest earnings growth tallies with job growth in the sector.

However, these workers are still earning well below the national average.

It is the same case for transport and storage where a 6pc hike in earnings is explained by a rise of almost 9pc in employment from 97,400 to 105,800.

He said the 4.8pc increase in earnings in the 'tight' ICT sector outstripped its 2.3pc employment growth due to a shortfall in qualified workers.

A slight fall in earnings in public administration and defence may be due to older workers retiring and being replaced by workers on lower rates.

Ibec's chief economist Gerard Brady said an extra 464,000 people have got jobs since the beginning of the recovery in 2012. This represents a 25pc rise in employment.

"This growth in employment looks set to continue into the future, albeit at a slower rate," he said. "This will not only increase pressures on an already tight labour market but will also lead to continuing challenges around quality of life such as congestion in transport and childcare."

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