AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS in Ireland fell by 1.6 per cent in 2010 on the previous year, according to new figures released by the Central Statistics Office.
The average rate of pay per hour was €21.96 in 2010, compared with €22.38 in the previous year. The decrease follows an increase in average earnings of 2.5 per cent between 2008 and 2009.
The CSO figures show that the final quarter of 2010 displayed the most drastic fall in average hourly earnings, with a 1.9 percent drop. They also show how, on top of a decrease in hourly rates, fewer people were employed during 2010 – in both the public and private sectors.
The total number of employees in the state decreased by 2.5 per cent – 39,700 people – in the final quarter of 2010. Employment in the private sector declined by 3.1 per cent while employment in the public sector fell by 0.9 per cent.
In the private sector, the average working week was reduced by 0.6 per cent from 32 hours to 31.8 hours; earnings fell by 0.3 per cent.
In the public sector, the average working week also fell 0.6 per cent, from 32.3 to 32.1 hours. Average earnings fell more notably than in the private sector, at 4.9 per cent – however these figures were calculated before the deduction of the pension levy (introduced in March 2009).