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Ireland's population of low-wage earners among EU's highest

New Eurostat figures show over a fifth of Irish workers are earning less than the national median hourly wage.

Image: PTstock via Shutterstock

IRELAND HAS one of the largest gaps between high and low earners of any EU member state, figures published this morning suggest.

Data from the EU’s statistics agency, Eurostat, shows that a significantly higher proportion of Ireland’s workforce are classified as ‘low-wage earners’ than the average for either the EU or the Eurozone.

Low-wage earners are defined as those whose hourly pay is less than two-thirds of the median national hourly wage – a system which is less susceptible to being skewed by a large proportion of higher earners.
20.7 per cent of Irish workers fall into this bracket – well ahead of the Eurozone average of 14.8 per cent, and the EU’s average of 17.0 per cent.

In Ireland, people earning below €12.20 an hour are considered as falling below the low-wage threshold.

Only two Eurozone countries have a higher proportion of low-wage earners: Germany, at 22.2 per cent, and Estonia at 23.8 per cent.

Read: Cost of living falls by 0.4 per cent in November

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Gavan Reilly

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