Wages rising at half the rate of inflation, CSO figures show

Average weekly earnings rose at an annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the third quarter while inflation was approximately 8 per cent

Weekly earnings in the Republic rose by less than half the rate of inflation in the third quarter, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

The CSO said average weekly earnings were €864.32 in third quarter of this year, up 3.2 per cent on the same period last year. Year-on-year inflation in the Irish economy in the third quarter was roughly 8 per cent.

This means real earnings declined.

The contraction in real earnings and the knock-on impact on consumption is expected to see a significant slowing in headline growth in the economy over the next year.


The CSO data show that over the past three years, weekly earnings have risen by 12.4 per cent, from €769.14 in the third quarter of 2019.

CSO average weekly earnings

The best paid workers in the State were once again those in the information and communication sector with average weekly earnings in the third quarter of €1,480.25, nearly double the national average.

They also enjoyed the largest annual percentage increase with earnings up nearly 11 per cent year on year. The second largest increase was 8.6 per cent in the transportation and storage sector which rose from €778.36 to €845.25 over the year.

Workers in the accommodation and food services sector were the worst paid with average weekly earnings of €421.24 but the sector includes many part-time staff.

Average hourly other labour costs increased by 60.7 per cent across all economic sectors to €4.13. A significant factor in this increase was the ending of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) at the end of May, the CSO said.

The sector with the highest average hourly total labour costs was the information and communication sector with a rate of €49.51, followed by the education sector at €43.24.

The sectors with the lowest cost of employing labour were the accommodation and food services activities with average hourly total labour costs of €16.90 and arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities with €22.58.

The job vacancy rate in the third quarter, which measures job vacancies on the last working day of the quarter, was 1.5 per cent, down from 1.6 per cent at the end of second quarter and up from 0.9 per cent at the end of the third quarter in 2019

The sectors with the highest job vacancy rate in the third quarter were professional, scientific and technical activities (3.8 per cent), followed by the financial, insurance and real estate activities (2.8 per cent).

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy

Eoin Burke-Kennedy is Economics Correspondent of The Irish Times