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Posts in the "Labour costs" category

On the Generosity of Ireland's Welfare System

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Micheál Collins

OECD Replacement Rates 2

Earlier this week, the OECD launched their preliminary review of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs. The review rightly complements the significant labour market progress of recent years – a point we highlight in the most recent NERI Quarterly Economic Observer. There we anticipate unemployment will continue to fall reaching 10.2% by 2016.

Although the document itself (link below) does not point towards the Irish welfare system as being ‘generous’, some media reports have suggested it does. However, it is worth examining any such claim on the basis of the data available to us.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costsWages

A Living Wage: the impacts for employees, employers and the state

Posted on March 13, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Publication cover - NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b - Cover image for NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b
Cover image for NERI WP Impacts Chall Liv Wage 2014b

A discussion on this issue of a living wage has recently commenced in Ireland. The implementation of a living wage raises issues regarding its impact on different actors in society (employees, employers, civil society and the state). Similarly, successful implementation faces a number of challenges.

A new NERI research paper, authored by Micheál Collins, considers some of these impacts and challenges, based on the experiences of living wage programmes elsewhere. In doing so, it points towards issues that need to be considered and addressed as any living wage initiative in Ireland commences.

The paper is available here and complements another NERI working paper on the living wage issued in early March 2014.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costsLiving wageWages

Raising wages or cutting taxes?

Posted on February 15, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

‘Putting more money into the pockets of consumers and workers’ Now who could be against that? ...after six years of unrelenting austerity, wage cuts for some, tax increases for nearly everyone …. But the problem is that ‘putting more money into the pockets’ can be done in a number of ways. Taxes on income can be lowered by one means or another. Or, wages can be increased. Creating new jobs will also help as people start earning and spending more.  However, there is a crucial difference between cutting income tax (always a popular proposal because nearly everyone in the income tax net believes they are paying too much already and would love to pay less) and raising wages. 

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Permanent link | Categories: Labour costsTaxationWages

‘a serious challenge that businesses and the Government must address’

Posted on January 09, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

In Northern Ireland – as in the rest of the United Kingdom – real wages have been falling since 2008. Using data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the UK-based GMB trade union has estimated that average earnings in Northern Ireland , when adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 12% between April 2008 and November 2013.  This is turning out to be the longest real wage squeeze in living memory. Among those at paid work, one in four workers in Northern Ireland are at risk of poverty because they are on low pay.  According to the Living Wage Research for KPMG published, last year, there were an estimated 197,000 employees below the calculated living wage level in Northern Ireland. This corresponds to 26% of all employees and is the highest of any UK region. 

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityLabour costsLiving wageNorthern Ireland

What have a night-club dancer and an economist got in common? – CSO data and average earnings

Posted on December 12, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

The timeliest source of data on wages for PAYE workers in the Republic of Ireland comes from the “Earnings Hours and Employment Costs Survey” (EHECS). This is a very extensive survey and survey responses cover roughly 70% of employees. In comparison, surveys such as the National Employment Survey or Quarterly National Household Survey usually cover less than 5% of the population.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costs

Employment up for over 35s, but younger workers still losing jobs and leaving

Posted on November 26, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

The latest labour market data (released on 26 November 2013) is generally positive in terms of employment, but slightly negative in terms of earnings. However, strange patterns are emerging in terms of what age groups are getting the new jobs.

Overall unemployment is down to 12.6% from 14.3% a year ago. This is driven by genuine job creation rather than emigration. In fact, the size of the labour force has increased (meaning the unemployment would be lower only for people re-entering the labour force). Also most of the jobs being created are full-time jobs, and underemployment has fallen.

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Permanent link | Categories: JobsLabour costs

Are wages the problem for the hospitality sector?

Posted on October 30, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

On 30th October water restrictions will be imposed in Dublin and other parts of Leinster. It was reported in The Irish Times that there was 'real anger' amongst business owners as water restrictions are imposed from 8pm.

However the Restaurants Association of Ireland previously described itself as 'outraged by the Government's decision to restore Joint Labour Committees'  that protect the pay and conditions of workers in the hospitality sector.

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Permanent link | Categories: InvestmentLabour costs

Irish labour costs amongst lowest in Western Europe

Posted on September 02, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

business sector labour costs - business sector labour costs
business sector labour costs

Ireland's labour costs in the business economy continue to be amongst the lowest in Western Europe.

Labour costs differ from wages in that they also include other costs faced by employers such as PRSI. Therefore labour costs are a far more relevant way to compare competitiveness across countries. Ireland has one of the lowest rates of employer social contributions in both Western Europe and the EU as a whole. 

In Ireland it costs €24.57 to employ a worker for one hour, compared to €39.61 in Denmark. Adjusting for differences in cost of living Ireland falls even further, with adjusted labour costs lower than those in Spain.

Full details can be seen in indicator 3.1 in the latest edition of the NERI's Quarterly Economic Facts.

Permanent link | Categories: JobsLabour costs

Employment increases, incomes squeezed

Posted on June 12, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Employment figures for the UK published today show a small return to growth in employment in the last three months to April this year. The increase in employment has been mainly due to a large increase in employment among older workers, many of pension age, and it is not clear whether this is by choice or whether older workers are finding themselves under financial pressure.

 

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeJobsLabour costsNorthern Ireland

Labour costs in accommodation and food sector equal to Spain's

Posted on June 11, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

accommodation labour costs - Accommodation and food service sector labour costs
Accommodation and food service sector labour costs

Not only did we recently have weather like the Spanish, labour costs were too.

The latest data from Eurostat (the European Statistics Agency) show that Irish labour costs in the Accommodation and Food sector are equal to those of Spain. Adjusting for the cost of living Irish labour costs are even lower than in Spain.

The data, which was recently updated, shows labour costs for the year 2011. Labour costs include wages, but also other costs faced by employers when employing a worker, such as social insurance (PRSI). Taking all the costs together, Irish labour costs are third lowest in western Europe, a fall on the previous year.

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Permanent link | Categories: Labour costs

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