Thursday 22 March 2018

Pay gap widest in private sector as women still earn €200 less than men

Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

WOMEN working in the public sector earn more than those in the private sector but regardless of where they're employed, women still earn more than €200 less per week than men.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office show a massive pay gap between public and private workers -- but the gap is even wider for women.

Women in the private sector earn an average of €16.86 per hour, while those in the public sector earn €26.03 an hour -- a 54pc difference, though some of the difference is explained by higher qualifications.

Men in the private sector earn €21.37 an hour on average while those in the public sector earn 39pc more, some €29.62 an hour.

In the private sector women earn €556 a week on average, rising to €777 in the public sector, whereas private sector men earn €800 a week and public sector males earn €1,017.

Some of the pay gap between private and public pay is down to public sector workers being more highly qualified, statisticians found.

"On average, public sector employees had higher educational attainment, longer service, were older and were more likely to be in professional jobs than their counterparts in the private sector," the CSO National Employment Survey 2010 found.

Adjusting for these factors they found that the pay gap on weekly earnings between public and private sector pay ranges from 6pc to 19pc and has come down since 2009.


But the CSO warned the analysis cannot compare identical jobs between the public and private sectors.

For example, gardai and soldiers are found exclusively in the public sector, while jobs in accommodation, food services and construction are only in the private sector.

The gender pay gap is widest in the private sector where men earn 21pc more than women, compared to 12pc in the public sector.

The report also found that employees in the private sector worked nearly two hours a week more than those in the public sector, 32.7 hours compared to 31.

Because of all the differences in the types of work done, the CSO said it was impossible to present a single definitive public-private pay gap which was why they were presenting a range of figures.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions said the data highlighted the difficulties in making straight like for like comparisons.

Irish Independent

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