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Business Costs in Ireland

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This section outlines some of the key statistics from the structural business surveys around the business costs faced by enterprises in Ireland.  Personnel costs have been analysed already in other chapters 1, however, this chapter takes a closer look at the elements that make up personnel costs, which are, wages & salaries and employers’ social security costs.  The chapter also examines total purchases in the business economy and how purchases are broken down by sector and size class.



(1) Chapter 3  Small & Medium Enterprises and Chapter 5 Business Costs in Ireland.

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Personnel costs are defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an employer to an employee. Personnel costs include taxes and employees' social security contributions retained by the unit as well as the employer's compulsory and voluntary social contributions1.

Personnel costs are made up of:

  • wages and salaries
  • employers' social security costs

Social security costs for the employer include employer's contributions to the PRSI scheme, superannuation funds, PRSA’s and other pension schemes.  Also included are insurance premiums, employer’s liability insurance and private health premiums paid on behalf of employees.

(1) See Appendix 2 for full definition

Social security costsWages and salaries
SMEs (<250)11.788.3
Large (250+)14.685.4
Total Business Economy12.787.3
  • Wages & Salaries accounted for 87.3% of personnel costs for the total business economy in 2014.
  • Large enterprises paid 14.6% of personnel costs in social security compared to 11.7% paid by SMEs.
  • Social security contributions for the total business economy made up 12.7% of personnel costs.

 

SMEs (<250)Large (250+)All enterprises
Industry8.715.412.5
Construction10.110.310.1
Distribution12.412.312.3
Services12.614.913.3
Total Business Economy11.714.612.7
  • For SMEs, social security costs as a percentage of personnel costs ranged from as low as 8.7% in the Industry sector to a high of 12.6% in Services sector in 2014.
  • In general, Large enterprises experience higher social security costs as a percentage of personnel costs than SMEs, ranging from 10.3% for Construction to a high of 15.4% for Industry.
Social security costs as % of personnel costs
Sweden30.4158878953881
France30.049440166137
Italy28.1783495967612
Belgium26.678858247787
Czech Republic26.1446165807039
Estonia25.2593804618646
Slovakia25.133598419613
Austria23.0710773653684
Portugal22.975278241897
Lithuania22.7605983980562
Spain21.8183788951337
Greece21.7436023284601
Romania21.7178860743217
Hungary20.2558102001291
Finland19.8307186802597
Latvia19.4494351857588
Netherlands19.2366872899692
Germany 17.5440366859675
Poland16.6104893643482
Bulgaria15.3480497493
Croatia14.0596933684115
Ireland13.411744284696
Slovenia13.3046928495718
United Kingdom13.058100719144
Luxembourg12.8465796110905
Cyprus12.6248233358819
Denmark8.58176107464244
Malta6.47413696793654
  • Ireland at 13.4% had the 7th lowest social security costs as a percentage of personnel costs in the EU28 for 2013.
  • Sweden reported the highest rate at 30.4% of personnel costs being spent on social security.
  • The United Kingdom had a similar rate of social security costs to Ireland at 13.1% of total personnel costs.
  • The Services sector accounted for 49.3% of total wages & salaries paid in Ireland's business economy in 2014.
  • Ireland's Industry and Distribution sectors each accounted for approximately one fifth of total wages & salaries paid.
  • The Construction sector's share of total wages & salaries paid in Ireland in 2014 was 7.2%.

         Data revised for Figure 5.4 on 20th October 2017.

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Wages and salaries
Industry21.5
Construction7.2
Distribution22
Services49.3
SMEs (<250) Large (250+)All enterprises
Industry40951.209714338854419.397305554747301.5288532457
Construction 318355425434982
Distribution308802941930209
Services332124161537425
Total Business Economy35280.314964457743316.064886206639085.3722588147
  • Industrial employees enjoyed the highest sectoral wages in Ireland in 2014 at €47,302 per employee.
  • In contrast, employees in the Distribution sector had the lowest wages at €30,209 per employee.
  • In the total business economy in 2014, employees in SMEs had average wages of €35,280 while employees in Large enterprises had average wages of €43,316.
  • The Services sector had the largest share of total purchases in the Business Economy in Ireland in 2014 at 39.2%.
  • The Distribution and Industry sectors accounted for 33.7% and 25.6% of total Business Economy purchases.
  • The smallest sector was the Construction sector with only 1.6% of total purchases by the Irish Business Economy.
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Total purchases
Industry25.5776545721573
Construction1.55121827680884
Distribution33.6817294815294
Services39.1893976695045
Show Table: 5.1 Breakdown of personnel costs in the total business economy by sector and size class, 2014

Show Table: 5.2 Breakdown of personnel costs in the total business economy, EU28 countries, 2013

Show Table: 5.3 Purchases in the total business economy by sector and size class, 2014

Go to next chapter >>>Detailed Business Sectors