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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: May 29, 2014 - 4:37 PM

Irish Economy 2014: Average hourly earnings down 0.4% in 12 months; Off 0.1% in 4 years
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
May 28, 2014 - 12:21 PM

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Irish Economy 2014: Preliminary estimates show that average weekly earnings were €689.88 in Q1 2014, down 0.4% from €692.54 a year earlier and average hourly earnings fell 0.5%. Revised weekly earnings were €688.78 in Q4 2013 and showed a fall of 0.4% over the same period in 2012. The CSO says that while overall average hourly earnings decreased by 0.1% from €22.11 to €22.08 in the 4 years to Q1 2014, across the sectors hourly earnings have actually increased in 7 of the 13 sectors. The largest percentage increase was recorded in the Information and communication sector (+11.2%) from €25.87 to €28.77. The largest percentage decrease in average hourly earnings over the same period was recorded in the Construction sector (-5.1%) from €20.36 to €19.32.

Despite a recovery in employment, most of it is in low-paid and non-regular paid sectors:

Irish Economy 2014: Number of employees remains below bailout quarter of 2010

Other features of the preliminary results for Q1 2014 include:

  • Average hourly earnings were €22.08 in Q1 2014 compared with €22.20 in Q1 2013, representing a decrease of 0.5% over the year.
  • Average weekly paid hours were 31.2 in Q1 2014, which was the same as those recorded in Q1 2013.
  • Average hourly total labour costs stood at €25.40 in Q1 2014, a fall of 0.9% from the Q1 2013 value of €25.62. 
  • Average weekly earnings in the public sector were €899.57 in Q1 2014, a decrease of 1.8% over the Q1 2013 value of €915.61.
  • Estimated numbers of persons employed in the public sector were 375,500 in Q1 2014, an annual decrease of 0.7% over the same period a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings increase in 7 of the 13 sectors in year to Q1 2014: Across the economic sectors average weekly earnings increased in 7 of the 13 sectors in the year to Q1 2014, with the largest percentage increase in the Construction sector (+10.2%) from €639.35 to €704.41.  The largest percentage sectoral decrease in weekly earnings was recorded in the Education sector (-2.7%) from €814.12 to €792.03.

Between Q1 2010 and Q1 2014 average weekly earnings across individual  sectors show changes ranging between -6.3% for the Education sector from €845.59 to €792.03 and +13.6% for the Information and communication sector from €915.94 to €1,040.10.

Weekly earnings in the private sector showed an increase of 0.7% (+€4.36) from €623.65 to €628.01 in the year to Q1 2014 compared with a decrease of  1.8% (-€16.04) in the public sector (including semi-state sector) from €915.61 to €899.57.     See table 1.

Hourly earnings decrease to €22.08 in year to Q1 2014: Average hourly earnings fell from €22.20 per hour in Q1 2013 to €22.08 in Q1 2014, representing a decrease of 0.5% or €0.12.  This compares with a revised decrease of 0.7% in average hourly earnings in Q4 2013 (from €21.80 to €21.73 per hour). 

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