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Pay for most Irish workers fell between December and March

Overall pay rose by 0.4pc, according to Eurostat – but if you don’t work in a professional industry, it probably fell.

Image: Cheryl Savan via Shutterstock

THE PAY of the average Irish worker increased in the first three months of the year – but wages for workers in non-business sectors fell.

That’s according to figures published by the EU’s statistics body, Eurostat, outlining the costs of labour throughout the European Union.

The figures show a 0.4 per cent increase in the average wage in Ireland in the first quarter, with a 1.6 per cent increase in other non-pay costs associated with hiring workers.

However, when broken down into the ‘business’ and ‘non-business’ economies, the figures reveal that those involved in in professional sectors saw pay increase – while those elsewhere would have endured falling pay.

Pay in business sectors increased by 0.9 per cent between December and March – but in the “mainly non-business economy”, including industrial and shift work, the average wage fell by 0.7 per cent.

According to figures from the Central Statistics Office, the cost of living in Ireland rose by around 0.7 per cent in the same period.

The Eurostat figures also said wages in the construction sector had fallen by 0.5 per cent in the first quarter, though it said pay in the industrial and services sectors remained ‘confidential’.

The increase in Irish pay, averaged across all sectors, was well below the averages for either the Eurozone or the European Union as a whole.

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Average pay in the Eurozone rose by 1.7 per cent in the quarter, while wages in the EU as a whole grew by 2.0 per cent.

There are some positives in the figures for Ireland, however.

When other costs of labour were included, the cost of hiring someone in the Eurozone rose by 1.6 per cent in the first quarter, while the cost of labour was up by 1.9 per cent in the EU as a whole.

By comparison, the cost of labour in Ireland rose by only 0.5 per cent – meaning Ireland becomes slightly more competitive in attracting foreign investment.

Read: Cost of living rises in the eurozone but not so much in Ireland

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Gavan Reilly

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