Figures reveal public-sector wages fared better than private sector

Figures reveal public-sector wages fared better than private sector

Earnings fell much more sharply in the private sector than the public sector in the 12 months to Q2 2009, according to official figures released today.

Ireland's first contribution to the Eurostat earnings and labour cost survey for the whole economy revealed that public-sector earnings slid by 3.1% on a weekly basis, with hourly earnings inching up 0.2%.

The public sector fared better, as weekly earnings increased 1.3%, and hourly earnings were up 2.6%.

Overall, weekly earnings were down 1.1% with hourly earnings up 1.8%. The gap between the percentage change in weekly and hourly earnings is explained by lower hours worked.

Irregular earnings (bonuses) fell 26% year-on-year, but these make up only 5% of total hourly earnings.

They are more important as a share of total pay in the financial, insurance and real estate sector (-66%), civil service, health sector and in information technology (IT).

Higher-paid workers were hit harder. Hourly earnings for managers and professionals slipped 1.3%, whereas manual workers saw hourly earnings rise 3.1%.

All of the public sector (+1.3%), industry (+0.6%) and IT (+0.1%) saw weekly earnings rise.

Irish hourly labour costs rose 2.4% in the year to Q2 versus +4% for the euro area and +3.7% for the EU.

That includes other labour costs, bar hourly earnings, that rose sharply – these encompass one-off redundancy payments.

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