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The Irish Construction Sector (2008-2016) - Employment, compensation and labour costs

The Irish Construction Sector (2008-2016) - Employment, compensation and labour costs

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Author

Ciarán Nugent

Summary

Employment in Construction in the last quarter of 2017 (133,200) was 42.7% lower (100,000 workers) than in the last quarter of 2007 (232,600), the peak of the Celtic Tiger and the period directly preceding the property crash.

The Survey on Income and Living Conditions shows that there has been a shift in employment arrangements in the sector with a rise in the category of self-employed with no employees between 2008 and 2016. This may indicate a rise in dependent self-employment in the sector and support qualitative evidence to that effect. At the same time, the sector saw a reduction in those self-employed with employees and the share of employees.  There has also been a shift towards temporary contracts as a proportion of all employee contracts in the industry.  

For employees in Construction, SILC data shows that the average salary had not yet recovered to the level recorded pre-crisis by 2016 in nominal terms.  For the self-employed with no employees, income in 2016 was still significantly behind levels in 2008.

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