New data on Ireland’s ‘working poor’

Posted on May 13, 2014 by Micheál Collins

working poor chart 2012

The recently released CSO SILC report offers an updated insight into the composition of those living below the poverty line in Ireland. That line equalled €203.50 per week for an individual and €338 per week for a couple in 2012 (the year of the most recent data).

Overall 16.5% of the population live at risk of poverty and the report provides a decomposition of this group (see the pie chart). It finds that 12.6% of the poor are at work but not receiving sufficient income to reach the poverty line. That group represents about 6 in every 100 workers; about 100,000 workers.

The data once again highlights the challenges faced by low income workers and households in Ireland. Point developed in recent papers on the concept and implications of a living wage and other documents on the distribution of income in Ireland (see links below). The data also complements indicator 5.3 in the latest edition of the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts document which offers an examination of in-work poverty trends over recent years.

The latest edition of the NERI's Quarterly Economic Facts is available here.

Two papers on the Living wage:

     Collins, M.L. (2014). ‘A Living Wage for Ireland: Some Considerations and Initial Estimates’ NERI Working Paper, 2014/12. Dublin, NERI.

     Collins, M.L. (2014). ‘The Impacts and Challenges of a Living Wage for IrelandNERI Working Paper, 2014/13. Dublin, NERI.

NERI inBrief on Ireland’s Household Income Distribution – available here


Posted in: IncomeInequalityLiving wageWages

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