Workers across the country making more money with biggest rise in arts sector

The Garda had the highest average weekly earnings in the public sector in the last quarter of 2023 at €1,471.40

Workers across the Republic are making more money, with average weekly earnings up by 2.1 per cent in the final quarter of last year when compared with the same period of 2022, new data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows.

The average worker in the State earned €921.81 per week, which was up from €902.56 in the last three months of 2022.

The data show the increase in earnings was broad-based, increasing in 12 out of 13 sectors.

The largest annual percentage increase in average weekly earnings was in the arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities sector, rising 9.8 per cent from €590.81 to €649.


The second largest increase was 8.3 per cent in the administrative and support services sector, which rose from €696.87 to €754.55 over the year.

In the five years to the last quarter of 2023, average weekly earnings rose by 21.7 per cent. All sectors saw increases in average weekly earnings over this period.

Average hourly earnings over the year grew by 2.1 per cent to €28.43, while average weekly paid hours (32.4) showed no change over the year. Over the five years from the fourth quarter of 2018 to 2023, average hourly earnings rose by 21.9 per cent from €23.33 to €28.43.

The cost of labour also increased, rising by 7.4 per cent across all economic sectors from €4.60 to €4.94 over the year, while average hourly total labour costs grew by 2.8 per cent in the same period.

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The sector with the highest average hourly total labour costs was the information and communication sector at €55.18. The lowest average total labour costs were in the accommodation and food service activities sector, which recorded a rate of €18.49.

The job vacancy rate, which measures job vacancies on the last working day of the quarter, was 1 per cent, down from 1.2 per cent at the end of the previous quarter and down from 1.3 per cent a year earlier.

The highest job vacancy rate at the end of last year was 2.4 per cent in the public administration and defence sector, followed by 1.7 per cent in the financial insurance and real estate sector.

There were 23,100 job vacancies at the end of the quarter, down by 5,400 from a year earlier.

Average weekly earnings decreased by 1.6 per cent across the public sector in the year, dropping from €1,129.98 to €1,112.29.

The public service pay deal was implemented in the last quarter of 2022 and introduced an increase in the annualised basic salaries for public servants of 3 per cent, which was backdated to February 2022.

The CSO said that payments to public servants in the last quarter of 2022 may have included backdated pay concerning this agreement, which affects the annual percentage change of average weekly earnings.

The Garda had the highest average weekly earnings in the public sector in the last quarter of 2023 at €1,471.40. The highest average hourly earnings in this period were €47.86 in the education sector.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter