Wednesday, August 29, 2012

29/8/2012: Some facts about Irish average earnings: Q2 2012

Q2 2012 earnings and working hours data for Ireland has been released today by the CSO. Here are top changes and trends:
  • Average hourly earnings were €21.91 in Q2 2012 compared with €21.90 in Q1 2011, representing no real change over the year. [Note: either CSO has not heard of inflation, or there was no inflation in Ireland Q2 2011-Q2 2012]
  • Average weekly paid hours were 31.4 in Q2 2012, which was the same as those recorded in Q2 2011.
  • Public sector numbers were 380,800 in Q2 2012, a fall of 25,800 (-6.3%) from Q2 2011 when the total was 406,600 (including temporary Census field staff).
The above are straight from CSO analysis. Excluding census workers, public sector (including semi-states) employment stood at 380,800 in Q2 2012 down on 401,300 in Q2 2011 and on 421,400 in Q2 2008 - a decline of 20,500 y/y of which 17,600 came from outside semi-state bodies.

Table below lists changes in earnings in broad sectors:

However, on aggregate, year on year to Q2 2012, per CSO:
  • Weekly earnings in the private sector fell by 0.5% annually, compared with an increase of 2.8% in the public sector (including semi-state organisations) over the year, bringing, average weekly earnings in Q2 2012 to €611.66 and €918.99 respectively. 
  • In the three years to Q2 2012 public sector earnings have fallen by €27.10 (-2.9%). This compares with a decrease of €24.95 (-3.9%) in private sector average weekly earnings in the four years since Q2 2008.
Here's the chart showing decomposition / breakdown of declines in public sector employment:

In Q2 2009, the peak year for average weekly earnings in the public sector, the gap between private sector average weekly earnings (€618.08) and public sector average weekly earnings (€946.09) was 53.07% in favour of the latter. In Q2 2012 the gap was 50.3% - slightly smaller, but not significantly so and factoring in that between 2009 and 2012 many more senior (higher paid and more experienced) public sector employees have retired (including via incentivized early retirement schemes), leaving the workforce in the public sector less skilled and experienced than it was in 2009, the gap has probably increased, like-for-like. Also, the same is exacerbated by the heavy younger workers losses of jobs in the private sector, which has left private sector workforce on average probably more experienced and senior in tenure than prior to the crisis.

In Q2 2008, the gap was 46.2% which was lower than what we are observing today.

Remember, we are being told that everyone should take proportional 'pain'...

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