Report forecasts Irish workers will get highest wage increases in EU next year

Report forecasts Irish workers will get highest wage increases in EU next year

Irish workers are in line for the highest salary increases in the EU next year, according to a report from advisory firm Willis Towers Watson.

The report shows Irish workers will get, on average, a 2.6% increase in salary next year.

The figure, which works out at 1.9% after inflation, is well ahead of the EU average of 1.1%.

Economist Jim Power said in order to attract staff, employers will also have to start looking at what other benefits they can offer.

The economist said: "Stuff like employee share ownership schemes, pensions and other non-pay benefits I think will have to be come a feature of the Irish labour market over the next couple of years and those employers who are not able or willing to go in that direction, I think, will suffer."

Mr Power added that it is no surprise given how well the economy is doing.

He said: "We are looking at an economy in 2019 and 2020 which is approaching full employment. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8% of the labour force in November, we have a record number of people at work in the economy.

"It is becoming more obvious that the challenge for Irish businesses at the moment is the recruitment and retention of workers."

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