Minimum Wage Increase - who gains?

January 1st saw a 50 cent  increase in the hourly Minimum Wage; the first since 2011. The increase to €9.15 per hour follows the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission.

A recent NERI Research inBrief estimates some of the effects of this increase. Specifically, it examines the average impact on the gross pay of minimum wage employees and the overall increase in the level of earnings for these employees.

The key points from the analysis are:

  • 75,000 employees work at the minimum wage.

  • Most are women (65%), most are aged in their 20s and 30s and large proportions of these employees work in sectors such as accommodation and food and wholesale and retail.

  • A 50 cent per hour increase in the minimum wage will result in:

        - an increase of €13.13 in the gross weekly pay of the average minimum wage worker;

        - an increase of €682 in the gross annual pay of the average minimum wage worker; and

        - across the economy, the annual earnings of minimum wage workers will increase by a total of €51.7 million.

  •  A further 46,000 employees earn less than the minimum wage and may also experience an increase in hourly pay

 A full copy of the study is available here.

The inBrief complements a recent NERI Working paper which is available here: Collins, M.L. (2015), ‘A Profile of those on the Minimum Wage’ NERI Working Paper, 2015/27. Dublin, NERI. 

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Micheál Collins