Irish workers are likely to get pay rises next year

Survey shows 97% of employers plan to increase salaries as economy recovers

Workers in Ireland are set to see their pay packets swell next year, according to a leading pension and personnel consultancy, which says 97 per cent of employers will increase wages in 2016.

A survey published today by Mercer says salaries in Ireland will rise by more than 2 per cent next year.

Mercer’s latest Salary Movement Report also shows that 97 per cent of the 135 organisations surveyed plan to increase their workers’ pay over the course of 2016 as the economy recovers further.

The firm’s talent consultant, Noel O’Connor, said that its December salary forecast reflected positive sentiment and the improving economy.


“The outlook is that salary increases are firmly back on the agenda for the vast majority of organisations,” he added.

The firm says the median increase for 2016 will be 2.2 per cent for most job grades but workers in technology and non-financial services are likely to fare better than those in other industries.

Staff in life sciences – that is medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, technology and services – can look forward to pay increases varying between 2.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent, the report says.

Those working in energy, consumer goods and manufacturing are likely to receive increases of about 2 per cent.

A detailed breakdown of the figures shows that increases in banking and financial services will lag behind other industries.

Mercer estimates that the overall increase in the sector will be 1.8 per cent.

However, within that, employees will do slightly better than their bosses, getting pay rises of 1.9 per cent, compared to 1.8 per cent for executives and management.

Manufacturing executives can only look forward to salary increases of 1.5 per cent next year, the lowest pay rise of any of the groups surveyed.

Their blue-collar employees will do slightly better, at 1.6 per cent.

Those workers’ counterparts in non-financial services will be among those getting the highest pay increases, with their wages expected to go up 2.5 per cent.

Executives and managers within that sector end the year 2.4 per cent better off.

Unemployment rate

Mr O’Connor said that the Republic’s unemployment rate was at its lowest level for seven years.

“After a number of years of consolidation in the jobs market, we are beginning to see more activity as employees are increasingly tempted by new opportunities.

“The competition for talent seems particularly aggressive in the high-tech, life science and construction industries.”

Mr O’Connor noted that along with basic pay, other benefits, such as pensions, health insurance and flexible working hours, were also important to workers.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas