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Average weekly earnings fall in seven out of 13 categories

The largest decrease, of around seven euro a week, was recorded in the hospitality sector. The largest increase was in construction.

Image: Time Card via Shutterstock

THE LATEST STATS from the Central Statistics Office show that average weekly earnings fell in seven out of thirteen categories in the year to the end of June.

The largest drop was in the hospitality sector, with average weekly earnings falling from €312.35 to €305.57 – a drop of 2.2 per cent. The biggest increase was in construction, where the average weekly wage rose by 9.5 per cent, from €655.99 to €718.18.

In the last four years, hospitality workers have experienced an almost 11 per cent drop in earnings. Over the same period, there’s been a rise by just over 11 per cent for those employed in the information and communications sector.

Preliminary estimates for the second quarter of the year from the CSO show that average weekly earnings for the period were €695.78 — up by a margin of 0.4 per cent from a year earlier.

Reacting to the figures, the Unite trade union has said that the wage fall in the hospitality sector is “of particular concern”.

According to Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly, “this continuing wage stagnation simply adds another damper to an already struggling economy.

Increasing wage and income floors must be part of the recipe for economic recovery.

Estimated public sector numbers for Q2 were at 377,300 according to the CSO — down by 5,400 from the same time last year. This is largely as a result of the recruitment moratorium brought in as part of wider austerity measures introduced in the wake of the downturn.

Weekly earnings in the public sector, including semi-state companies rose by 1.3 per cent in the year to the end of June, bringing average weekly earnings to €928.76. There was a one per cent rise in the private sector in the same period, putting weekly earnings at €623.17.

The CSO says the disparity has come about as a result of the hiring freeze:

Many public sector employees are paid on the basis of incremental scales. Recruitment, particularly at lower levels, to these sectors would generally result in a depression to average earnings.

The absence of recruitment has the opposite effect. [...] Consideration to these factors should be given when interpreting results.

All amounts given are gross amounts before deductions for PRSI, tax and other levies.

Read: One in four pubs have cut opening hours and half have seen turnover fall

Read: Former Anglo Irish Bank files for bankruptcy in the US

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