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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Living wage

One in 10 Irish workers are earning the minimum wage or less

A release from the CSO suggests that just over 10% of Irish workers are earning €9.25 an hour or less.

shutterstock_455556097 Shutterstock / Wolfilser Shutterstock / Wolfilser / Wolfilser

OVER 10% OF Irish workers are being paid the equivalent of, or less than, the national minimum wage of €9.25 per hour.

The statistic is contained in the latest release from the Quarterly National Household Survey, published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

For the nine months between April and December 2016 10.1% of employees, or one in ten, earned less than or the equivalent of the statutory minimum wage of €9.25.

The minimum wage was increased per the last budget in January 2017 from €9.15.

The figure of 10.1% translates to 22,500 employees who self-reported earnings as being less than the minimum wage and 132,600 who said they were paid the exact figure.

Of that 22,500, 5,700 reported that the reason they earned less than the minimum wage was the fact they were on a special training rate, while a further 5,800 said they were on an age-related rate.

CSO1 CSO Minimum wage by sector CSO

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Women, meanwhile, are more likely to earn the minimum wage or less.

84,400, or 54.4% of the 155,100 people earning that wage were women.

This compares to the overall split of employees in the State – 49.4% male versus 50.6% female.

The minimum wage is predominant in Ireland’s services industry, with four in five (81.7%) of the employees being paid the wage or less coming from that sector.

The majority of those being paid at or less than the minimum wage from this sector come from two specific industries – the repair of motor vehicles or motorcycles (accounting for 25.9% of all employees earning €9.25 or less), and the accommodation and food services sector (24.7%).

The lion’s share, 37.9%, of all those earning the minimum wage or less came from the 18-24 age group. Almost three in five of those on the lower wage or less were employed part-time.

cso2 CSO Minimum wage by education level CSO

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Non-Irish nationals are more likely to Irish natives to earn the minimum wage or less. 28.2% of all employees on the minimum wage or less were non-Irish, which equates to nearly one fifth of all non-Irish employees across the board.

The greatest proportion of those working for the minimum wage or less had a lower level of education. 19.4% of all employees whose highest level of education was primary school, or less, self-reported as being paid that wage.
16.7% of those on the wage or less had completed higher secondary education, while 18.8% had not progressed beyond lower secondary. Just 3.4% of those with a third level degree were on the minimum wage or less.

Read: ‘There will be abortions’: Master of maternity hospital says they’ll be entirely independent

Read: 10% of Irish households are using four times as much water as the rest of the country

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