Gardaí eclipse IT professionals as Ireland’s best paid workers in latest CSO figures

Figures show gardaí enjoyed average weekly earnings, including overtime and bonuses, of €1,579.28 in the third quarter

Members of An Garda Síochána were the best paid employees in the State in the third quarter of this year, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The agency’s latest pay data show gardaí enjoyed average weekly earnings, including overtime and irregular pay, of €1,579.28 between July and September this year.

This was higher than workers in the information and communication sector, traditionally the best paid sector of the economy, whose average weekly earnings were €1,525.19.

Garda pay rose by 16 per cent or €218.15 on an annual basis, the figures showed.


The increase was said to reflect back pay awarded under the latest public sector wage agreement implemented in October last year, which gave public servants a 3 per cent salary hike. The deal was, however, backdated to February 2022.

On an hourly basis, gardaí earned on average €30.38 in the third quarter while IT workers earned €35.44. Irregular earnings or bonuses for IT workers typically peak in quarter one.

The CSO said average weekly earnings across the public sector as a whole grew by 6.3 per cent in the year to quarter three, rising from €1,058.98 to €1,125.92.

An Garda Síochána had the highest average weekly earnings while the highest average hourly earnings in this period were €46.89 in the education sector.

Average weekly earnings across the economy rose – on annual basis – by 4.6 per cent to stand €907.72 in quarter three, the figures show. This was up from €867.63 between July and the end of September last year.

The findings suggest that while wage growth is strong, it is not rising at an alarming rate on the back of wider inflationary pressures. Average hourly earnings did, however, jump 6.2 per cent to €27.82 in the third quarter.

European Central Bank policymakers fear that if workers, particularly in the services sector, demand higher and higher wages to compensate for inflation then price growth could be harder to bring down.

The figures show average weekly earnings increased across 12 out of 13 sectors. The largest annual percentage increase in average weekly earnings in the private sector was 10.6 per cent in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities sector.

The best paid workers in the private sector were once again those in the information and communication sector, whose earnings were up over 2 per cent year-on-year but down 1.9 per cent on a quarterly basis.

Workers in the accommodation and food services sector were the worst paid, with average weekly earnings of €440.23, but the sector includes many part-time staff.

The job vacancy rate in the third quarter, which measures job vacancies on the last working day of the quarter, was 1.2 per cent, down from 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter and 1.6 per cent at the end of quarter three in 2022. According to the CSO, the highest average hourly total labour costs in the third quarter was the information and communication sector at €53.16. The lowest average total labour costs were in the accommodation and food service activities sector, which recorded a rate of €18.04.

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times