The notion that Dublin workers earn 15 per cent more than their counterparts in other counties is, contrary to expectations, more likely to antagonise those working in the capital.
Earnings data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released yesterday show Dublin workers earned an average of €50,801 in 2018, 15 per cent higher than the State average of €44,180.
But living in the capital means you’re likely to be paying more for accommodation, more for transport and more for food, well more than a paltry 15 per cent wage differential could compensate.
Also, average earnings in Dublin are driven demonstrably higher by multinationals, which typically pay their staff more.
The CSO numbers show workers in the IT sector here – think Google, Apple, Facebook – command the biggest salaries while those in the hospitality sector get paid the least.
Workers in the information and communications sector had average weekly earnings of €1,244 last year, nearly four time those in the hospitality sector. But that’s an average figure, there are many on a multiple of that.
Recent financial statements show that the 1,008 staff directly employed in 2017 by Facebook Ireland each received an average salary of €95,766. Add in share payments, bonuses and so on, and the average pay packet of a Facebook Ireland staff member in 2017 was €154,000, up from about €140,000 in 2016 and €123,000 the year before.
But these generous salaries are only enjoyed by a small fringe of workers, entirely unrepresentative of the whole but the salaries are big enough to inflect the average. The CSO said 63 per cent of workers in the economy earned less than the average weekly salary in 2018, while 37 per cent earned more than the mean.
So instead of adding to the list of grievances the rest of the country seems to have with Dublin, the earnings data are more likely to give Dubliners something to moan about.