Monday 18 December 2017

Workers earn €238 more than last year

Anne-Marie Walsh Industry Correspondent

WORKERS are earning €238 a year more than last year -- but this was driven by a rise in their working hours, because pay rates have fallen.

However, public sector workers' earnings went up faster than those of private sector staff.

The amount earned by the average worker each year now stands at €36,071, up from €35,833 last year.

State employees' earnings rose by 2pc to €47,568 a year.

This compared with a 1.5pc increase to €32,338 a year in the private sector.

A Central Statistics Office spokesperson said the more dramatic rise in the public sector may have been due to the fact that earnings were lower than they would normally be last year.

This was due to the recruitment of temporary census staff, whose earnings then brought down the average pay for 2011.

The payment of increments may also have led to the increase, combined with a very slight increase in public sector working hours of 0.3pc.

The Central Statistics Office's latest Earnings and Labour Costs survey says that overall there was a 1pc rise in workers' weekly earnings since last year.

However, hourly pay fell slightly from €22.21 in the first three months of last year to €22.16 this year.

This suggests that broadly speaking, the rise in earnings was due to employees getting more work.

The number of paid hours at work rose slightly to just over 31 a week. The increase in hours was three times greater in the private sector, where it rose by 1pc. But since 2008, the number of paid hours worked in the private sector fell by almost two hours on average compared with a fall of half-an-hour in the public sector.

Exodus

Professional, scientific and technical staff enjoyed the biggest increase in earnings of 11pc, with arts and entertainment staff enjoying a 5pc increase.

The biggest drop in earnings was in construction, where income fell by almost 4pc.

This year bucks the trend because earnings have dropped in the past few years. Public sector earnings fell by more than 2pc, or €22.37 a week, over the past three years.

Average private sector weekly earnings fell by more than 3pc, or €22.80 a week, in the past four years.

The figures also show a dramatic drop in public service numbers, due to the government ban on hiring and an exodus of staff before February to avoid pension cuts.

Public sector numbers have fallen to 386,300, a drop of more than 5pc.

Irish Independent

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