Earnings and Labour Cost Data 2011

New from the CSO here.

15 replies on “Earnings and Labour Cost Data 2011”

Quote from the report:

“Across the economic sectors average annual earnings fell in 8 of the 13 sectors in the year 2011 when compared with average annual earnings in 2010, with the largest percentage decrease in the Arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities (-6.5%) sector.”

Can’t say I’m surprised. This is the sector that’s supposed to support The Gathering and our general Cultural and Tourism activities.

On table 1 page 4, I see that the average annual earning in this area is now 23,404, compared to, I dunno, ‘Financial, insurance and real estate’ which is 50,985 and is down on the year only -0.7.

Will this hard data quell the “public sector have taken no paycuts” drone? Hardly…

@Brian L

I don’t by any means read or listen to all commentary, but I find it surprising that you think there is a widespread claim that the public sector have taken no pay cuts.

I thought the situation was generally accepted as; several years of significant increases, then the approx 2009 cuts – that took off the froth, then Croke Park which in its ex 1.28 application stopped further cuts for those already inside, and has recently been interpreted as providing for incremental increases in pay.

Are there really people who think there have been no PS pay cuts?

As Sundance said: “Who are those guys?”

I am a machinest in Tulsa, OK and have seriously been considering moving my family back to where we originated from in in Ireland. So my big question is… Is there room/ job market there to able to make it without making a huge mistake and putting my family through hard times?

@American born Irish decent

Skilled industrial work is hard to find to Ireland and it would be advisable to secure a position first before considering moving. There are a few job search engines (www.irishjobs.ie, jobs.ie, monster.ie) worth consulting.

The first thing I saw when I searched for jobs in this area were recruiters looking for machinists to relocate to Canada and Australia which suggests that demand may be higher elsewhere.

Good luck in your search.

“Will this hard data quell the “public sector have taken no paycuts” drone? Hardly…”

Don’t really understand this statement. ‘Public admin. and defence’ have seen a decrease that presumably includes the recent ‘grey exodus’ that will have lowered average pay, while education and ‘admin. and support services’ actually show an increase in the last year.

Anyway, most people would acknowledge that the PS have taken cuts, but the unfortunate reality is that we still can’t afford even the new lower rates of pay. Plus a private sector pay freeze is actually a pay freeze, whereas a PS pay freeze actually allows for incremental pay??

The real outrage in the earnings table is that ‘financial, insurance and real estate’ wages haven’t been trimmed, or, preferably, decimated.

@American Born Irish

Please don’t do it. Your family and you deserve better than coming to the most corrupt little country in Europe. And goodness knows there are few jobs around.

@Darragh Doran

‘admin. and support services’ are not public sector. This is private sector encompassing renting, travel agencies, landscaping, business support services to name just some of what it is.

@American Born Irish
Skilled machine work is really not valued in the knowledge economy. If you could manage consulting, spin cycle or count beans you’d have a better chance.

It’s not a great time to move to Ireland. That said, if you dig around you will see jobs for machinists on offer, so, if you are determined and your skills match what’s actually in demand, you may be able to make it work. Shay is right to say that you should be sure you have a job before moving.

A couple of other points to bear in mind. If you are not an Irish (or other EU) citizen, you may have difficulty getting permission to work here. You should check whether you are entitled to citizenship. Also, the cost of living here is higher than you will probably expect, and you should take this into account when assessing whether the pay on offer is attractive.

@American born Irish decent
There is little call for machinists in Ireland. Toolmaking was big 20 years ago here, but today indigenous Irish companies mainly source complete components from China while US multinationals operating here either source tooling from group companies or deal with a handful of large Irish indigenous toolmaking companies.
You can research who they are easily enough. There is some business for jobbing machine shops if you were thinking of going independent but most of them have closed during the last 20 years. Be aware that overheads are high and you would need to be able to source jobs from outside the state. Like the man said, Alberta and Western Oz are better bets!


Well done on observing the obvious. It can easily get lost.

Excellent chart by CSO. It brings out some real disparities in Irish society.
It looks like the workers in sectors I (Accom and Food), R&S (Arts, Ent..) and N (admin & support) are more in the nature of serfs to Lords, than equal members of society.
We are certainly not all in this together.

Excellent chart. Enhanced by its simplicity. Putting the NACE legends underneath the chart would make more immediately readable, if you can find the space.

@CSO/ Others

Are people on pensions still included in their original working category or are they excluded. If included how does the data compilation deal with multiple employments?

@ brian Lucey (@brianmlucey)

A foreign newspaper reported sometime ago that you and the missus are on the public payroll — I guess that would make you a vested interest!

In 2001 the Exchequer net pay and pensions bill (ex local authorities) was €10.2bn; it was €16.2bn in 2006 (the peak year of the bubble); €17.6bn in 2007; €18.7 in 2008 and is estimated to be €16.9bn in 2012.

These figures are net of pension contributions (normal and emergency).

So to compare with 2007 when it was clear to those of us who weren’t afflicted with Walter Mitty syndrome, that the game was up, there is a saving of €700m. However, we don’t know how much the current cost of the €1.5bn in allowances has risen in the period.

Let’s say €300m. That leaves €400m and then just note that in 2009, the State assumed direct responsibility (a bail-in or bail-out?) for the Trinity College pensions’ deficit of €315m!

The pay and pensions bill takes 42% of net current spending of €40.5bn which has risen by €3.5bn since 2007.

It’s one of several issues of importance in seeking to develop a sustainable economy.

I do cover the others as well!

I have yet to see a justification for the continuation in modern times, of the 1850s era British Empire guarantee of employment.

@ American born Irish..

Far away hills are said to be green.

I met an Irish couple in Dublin in the 1990s and they had returned from Australia twice. They lasted 18 months and went back home.

I understand the yearning for new pastures, where children are best reared etc., but if you wouldn’t fancy 6 months or more of grey skies and rain while having to listen to people grumbling about it as if it was a surprise, stay put. It’s called Irish mist and sometime ago a local brand of whiskey called ‘Irish Mist’ was marketed to the Germans but they didn’t take to it. Our competence with foreign languages hasn’t improved much in the interval.

If you’re an Okie who likes low taxes, then it’s too late.

Yeah mike h I’m a vested interest. Yknow when you bring people’s families into an argument , you’ve lost the argument and moral right to be taken further. You or nobody here knows my family finances. And that will stay as it is.

Note that the CSO table that has been quoted here refers to average WEEKLY earnings.
Table 2 of the release shows average HOURLY earnings by sector. Overall, there was a slight increase, comparing 2012Q2 with 2008Q2.
Much of the fall in weekly earnings in particular sectors was due to reduced hours worked.

Presumably the labour cost measure more relevant to ‘competitiveness’ and ‘internal devaluation’ is the HOURLY figure

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