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Public service pay drop bigger than in private sector

…but average wages are still falling overall, new figures show.

EARNINGS IN THE public service have endured a bigger drop than those in the private sector over the past three years, according to new figures released by the CSO.

However, pay in the private sector is now falling faster than that in the public sector, statistics for last year alone show.

Overall, the average Irish worker’s weekly take-home pay dropped by 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to the end of 2011.

In the three years from the end of 2008, average public sector earnings fell by 5.3 per cent – the equivalent of €50.91 a week. In the private sector, the drop was 4.5 per cent.

This is the equivalent of €29.21 per week as private sector earnings remain lower than those in the public sector. The average weekly pay in the private sector is now €614.99, with the public sector equivalent at €905.80.

When the 12 months to the end of last year are examined in isolation, private sector weekly earnings fell by 2.1 per cent against just 0.5 per cent in the public sector.

The overall fall in weekly earnings was due partly to a reduction in average weekly pay, and partly due to employees working a reduced number of hours.

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