Posts in the "Gender" category

Time to think about the type of Ireland we want to live in

Posted on May 14, 2014 by Micheál Collins

The impact of the various austerity measures over recent years has been, and continues to be, felt by families in every corner of the country. Whether it is pay, public services or social welfare; all measures point towards a drop in living standards that has been hard felt. Recent data from the CSO quantified the average decrease in income for households since 2008 at 14%; of course it has been much more difficult for households on mid-to-low incomes to absorb this decrease.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderGovernment SpendingIncomeMacroeconomicsTaxation

Improving women's access to the labour market could create 65,000 jobs

Posted on April 08, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

A new paper (available here) highlights some of the most prominent features of the Irish labour market; a polarised labour market with relatively low labour market participation for women. The implication for this is that, by increasing labour market access for women, roughly 65,000 jobs could be created.

Overall in Ireland there are a high proportion of those in employment with a third level degree and the low level of labour market participation for women aged 35 and over, in particular such women without a third level education. Policies directed at enabling such women to participate in the labour market have the ability to increase Ireland’s economic potential.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderJobsWages

Recent labour market changes consistent with polarisation

Posted on March 11, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell


Data from the recent Earnings Hours and Employment Costs Survey show that recent trends in employee numbers (employee numbers exclude the self-employed) are consistent with a pattern of polarisation.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderJobs

Women in Ireland: Better educated, living longer but paid less

Posted on March 07, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Saturday March 8th marks International Women’s Day, an opportune time to reflect on the relative socio-economic position of women in our society.

While there are a myriad of facts, figures and data that allow us to explore this topic I am going to focus on three ‘gender gaps’ in this blog which uses data for the Republic of Ireland.

First, women are better educated than men (the gender-education gap). The CSO’s latest Measuring Ireland’s Progress report (launched in January 2014) reports that 46.9% of the population aged 25-34 years had third level education – the 4th highest level in the EU where the average is 34.58%. More than half of Irish women in that age group (53%) had a third level qualification versus 40.4% of men.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderInequalityWages

Employment of young women down 17,100

Posted on February 27, 2014 by Rory O'Farrell

The latest data from the CSO shows employment up roughly 60,000 since the same period of last year, getting close to levels last seen at the end of 2009 (and first seen back in 2005).

Interestingly, of the increase in employment of 61,000, over three quarters almost (47,100) of the increase was for men aged over 35. Employment for men aged under 35 was relatively stable (showing a slight increase of over 3,000).

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderJobs

Income: The Gender Divide

Posted on July 01, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Project 365, Day 28: Glass Ceiling - FallenPegasus

There are many measures examining differences in various socio-economic characteristics among men and women. In general, women are better educated, healthier, live longer but earn less - factors which in themselves point towards gaps in societal equality for both sexes.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequality

Women in the Economy and Labour Market

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Last week, on International Women's Day, I spoke at the ICTU joint women's committee seminar on the topic of 'Women in the Economy and the Labour Market'. My paper highlighted the latest data on the current challenges facing women, North and South, as they participate in the economy, enter or leave the labour market and cope with the impacts of the recession.

While I pointed at a number of potential remedies to the persistent gender wage gap and low participation rates among Irish women, the subsequent session addresses some of the potential solutions in more detail. Listening to the various inputs into that session, I thought there would be merit in linking it to some of the recent relevant NERI research and outputs. These include:

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequality

Is a ‘living wage’ such a mad idea?

Posted on February 12, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Over recent years I have been involved in publishing a number of research papers and reports on issues related to low income in Ireland (see a list here). Among these, work with the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice focused on establishing the cost of a minimum essential standard of living in Ireland and subsequently estimating the income required to experience this. Outside Ireland, most particularly in the UK, research around minimum living standards has spawned further research into the concept of a living wage. Such a wage is taken to be an hourly wage rate sufficient to ensure that an employee earns enough to have a decent standard of living.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequalityJobs

One fifth of Workers are ‘low-paid’

Posted on January 02, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Eurostat, the EU Statistics Agency, recently released new data on the proportion of low-paid workers in Ireland and across the EU. Their analysis defines low-earnings in relative terms measured as those earning two thirds or less of the national median gross hourly earnings. Median earnings are the earnings of the middle worker in the distribution of workers from the lowest earner to the highest earner. The data is from the 2010 Structure of Earnings Survey, a survey that occurs every four years across the EU. Its key findings for Ireland are:

  • The low-wage threshold in 2010 was €12.20 per hour
  • 20.7% of Irish workers are considered low paid
  • Low pay is more common among women, those with low education levels and workers with fixed duration contracts.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequalityJobs

The growth in part-time work

Posted on December 13, 2012 by Micheál Collins

In the current edition of Mandate's regular publication, Shopfloor, I have an article highlighting the growth in part-time work over recent years. In it I highlight some of the material from the recent NERI conference on the unemployment crisis. The key points are:

While the headline figures on job losses tend to receive a lot of attention (over 300,000 jobs have been lost since 2007), the growth in the number of workers who are working but on reduced hours has been significant.

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Permanent link | Categories: GenderIncomeInequalityJobs

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