Half the Republic’s workers expect pay rise this year

BoI study says most workers and employers positive about the near future

The data shows  44%  of businesses are planning to increase wages over the next 12 months as the supply of skilled labour tightens. Tallying with this, 48%  of workers expect a pay rise over the same period. Photograph: Getty Images

The data shows 44% of businesses are planning to increase wages over the next 12 months as the supply of skilled labour tightens. Tallying with this, 48% of workers expect a pay rise over the same period. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Close to half the Republic’s workers expect a pay rise this year, a survey published on Monday shows.

The Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse, which tracks business and consumer sentiment, indicates that most workers and employers are positive about the near future.

The lender said that companies across all sectors upgraded their near-term expectations for their businesses in January.

The data shows that 44 per cent of businesses are planning to increase wages over the next 12 months as the supply of skilled labour tightens. Tallying with this, 48 per cent of workers expect a pay rise over the same period.

Dr Loretta O’Sullivan, group chief economist with Bank of Ireland, said employment had improved markedly in two years.

“In January 2016, the unemployment rate stood at 9 per cent and just 28 per cent of households considered it easy to change jobs. The unemployment rate is now tipping the 6 per cent mark, while 45 per cent think it is easy to change jobs.”

Dr O’Sullivan added that this boded well for the economy as consumers were expected to drive growth in coming years.

Big-ticket items

The survey also shows that 41 per cent of homes consider this a good time to buy big-ticket items such as furniture and electrical goods, while more than one in four families are considering changing their car this year.

The overall Bank of Ireland Economic Pulse came in at 92.8 in January 2018, up 3.9 on December but broadly unchanged on the same month in 2017. The Business Pulse was 91, up 3.5 on December but down 1.8 on January 2017.

Dr O’Sullivan said that most businesses were growing, with two out of three planning to expand in the next one to three years.

The study also confirms that house prices increased sharply in 2017 and will do so again this year. The Housing Pulse was 117.2, 5.8 higher than this time last year.