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National Employment Survey October 2006

The National Employment Survey is a major workplace and earnings survey conducted by the Central Statistics Office and the results for 2006 have been published today. The survey provides detailed comparisons on the factors that influence individual employee earnings. The results have been compiled on the basis of earnings data provided by employers and individual data collected directly by the CSO from a sub-sample of employees. The CSO wishes to thank the employers and employees who provided information for the survey.

The results show that:

  • Employees earned an average of €19.16 per hour in October 2006. Men earned €20.50 per hour and women earned €17.67 per hour (86.2% of male hourly earnings).
  • Half of all employees earned less than €15.51 per hour (i.e. the median hourly earnings figure).
  • Average hourly earnings for full-time workers were €20.11 while part-time workers received an average of €14.76 per hour.
  • The average working week was 34.8 hours. Men worked an average of 38.3 hours and women 31.0 hours per week.
  • Public sector average hourly earnings were €25.47 per hour, compared to €17.11 per hour for the private sector (67.2% of public sector average earnings).
  • The average employee has been working for just over 16 years and has spent about 8.7 years in his/her current employment.
  • Average earnings per hour were highest in the Education sector at €32.06 per hour followed by the Electricity, gas and water supply sector of €29.50. The lowest average hourly earnings were in the Hotels and restaurants sector, at €12.39 per hour.
  • Professional employees earned the highest hourly earnings of €31.37 while Sales workers had the lowest earnings at €13.21.
  • Employees who had a third level degree or higher tended to have higher earnings than those without and the difference increased with age. For employees aged under 25 years, those with a third level degree or higher earned €14.99 compared to €12.05 per hour for those with a higher secondary level of education (Leaving Certificate). This gap had widened to €42.51 and €21.20 respectively for employees aged 50 to 60 years.
  • Employees living in Dublin earned €20.46 per hour compared with €1 to €2 less for those living in the Rest of Leinster, Munster and Connaught (€18.96, €18.75 and €18.67 respectively). Employees in Ulster (including those living in Northern Ireland and working in the Republic of Ireland) earned €16.67 per hour.
  • Average annual earnings were €37,200 in 2006, composed of €35,153 basic earnings and €2,046 irregular earnings and allowances. Earnings were highest in the Electricity, gas and water supply sector at €66,667 and lowest in the Hotels and resturants sector at €22,139.
  • A comparison of NES results over time shows that earnings per hour rose from €16.41 in March 2003 to €19.16 in October 2006. Hours per week fell slightly from 34.9 hours per week to 34.8 in October 2006. Average annual earnings rose from €31,333 in 2002 to €37,200 in 2006.



National Employment Survey October 2006 is priced at €10.00 and is available from:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork.

The Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street,

Dublin 2.


For further information contact:

Paul M Crowley, Senior Statistician (021-453 5090) or

Mary Smyth, Statistician (021-453 5309)

LoCall: 1890 313 414


5 September 2008


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