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Distribution

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In 2018, 39.4% of all employments earned between €400 and €800 per week

As is typical in earnings distributions, a relatively small number of high earners result in a positively skewed earnings distribution of employees in Ireland. In a positively skewed earnings distribution, mean earnings are greater than median earnings as the mean is increased by those higher earners. In such cases median earnings (the middle earner in the economy or sector) may be a more reflective figure of the average earnings of employees in the economy or sector. 

Figure 3.1 below shows the weekly earnings at each percentile on the earnings distribution for 2018. It also highlights the Mean and Median earnings for that year.

In 2018 the median weekly earnings were €592.60 (half of all jobs earned more than this amount and half earned less). 

Mean weekly earnings in 2018 were €740.72. Figure. 3.1 below illustrates that 63% of employees earned less than the mean, while 37% earned more than the mean.

X-axis labelGross payMeanMedian
174741593
295741593
3111741593
4127741593
5142741593
6155741593
7168741593
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10203741593
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35455741593
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993198741593

Figure 3.2 presents the distribution of employments by weekly earnings and sex.

It shows a greater proportion of female employees at the lower end of the distribution, when compared to male employees.

X-axis labelMalesFemales
500.230.42
1503.556.86
3009.0516.67
45013.3718.41
60017.4915.49
75014.612.45
90010.468.79
10507.076.23
12005.374.85
13504.343.31
15003.222.02
16502.561.33
18001.820.8
19501.340.53
21000.970.38
22500.710.26
24000.570.19
25500.450.16

Figure 3.3 presents the distribution of employees by weekly earnings and age group.

The 15-24 year-old age group has the highest proportion of employees at the lower end of the distribution.

As age increases the distribution of earnings flattens out, meaning a smaller proportion of employees in the lower end of the distribution. This trend continues up to the 60 years and over age group, where the number of employments at the lower end of the distribution has increased when compared to the previous age group (50-59 years).

X-axis label15 - 24yrs25 - 29yrs30 - 39yrs40 - 49yrs50 - 59yrs60yrs and overTotal
500.830.150.150.190.270.970.33
15016.852.822.432.914.089.495.22
30033.4210.618.278.5210.5817.8112.88
45026.3320.6813.7912.3713.3115.8815.9
60013.8623.8317.9615.0414.3813.7316.48
7505.5517.0815.613.7913.9112.3513.52
9001.8911.7111.7910.379.928.529.62
10500.655.499.027.787.025.256.65
12000.272.836.596.925.714.075.11
13500.151.824.355.634.922.783.82
15000.081.052.793.773.832.092.62
16500.040.611.942.883.011.821.95
18000.020.411.312.041.891.151.31
19500.010.260.911.481.40.790.94
21000.010.170.651.080.980.610.67
22500.010.120.480.780.70.390.48
240000.090.370.630.530.330.38
255000.060.290.530.440.230.3
Show Table: Table 3.1 Weekly earnings by every 10th percentile and year

Table 3.1 above shows the earnings at every 10th percentile in each of the years 2011 to 2018.

Figure 3.4 and Table 3.2 below present the percentage change in earnings (year on year) at every 10th percentile.

In Figure 3.4 earnings decreased across the distribution from 2011 to 2012, with the exception of the 80th percentile which increases 0.2%. There were increases of up to 1% in all percentiles shown between 2012 and 2013, with the exception of the 90th which decreased 0.1%.

Between 2013 and 2014 there were increases in the lower percentiles and decreases in the higher percentiles.

In the 2014-2015 period there were increases in all the percentiles displayed, with the highest increase (2.0%) in the 90th percentile.

Between 2015 and 2016 there were again increases in all the percentiles displayed, but the most significant increases were in the lowest 3 percentiles shown (10th, 20th and 30th), which experienced increases in earnings of 4.4%, 4% and 3.4% respectively.

There were significant increases in all percentiles displayed for both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 periods. The highest of these were the 30th percentile which increased by 3.2% in the year to 2017 and the 90th percentile which increased 3.8% in 2018.

2011-20122012-20132013-20142014-20152015-20162016-20172017-2018
10th-1.90.4668482187517360.7744647895115310.9331942690893324.367215967803342.86086503387182.796494249962
20th-0.60.8213625373346690.9381061541174240.7861360539463964.000554669624922.23.28440965427266
30th-1.20.7098052162429760.778560891657110.9297660676045543.437718214535113.227397829360753.5138466182056
40th-0.80.9590565198041910.4121575455687590.7967865138943652.312667407068662.737160249451943.3831237440179
50th-0.50.980084534598280.2321330652531590.4212484271568281.730587637103232.773959765088072.92661745549283
60th-0.40.632580188388854-0.1972989920927540.2697152664970610.9628610729023552.567363003330293.24694492000708
70th-0.30.654021399682581-0.6637590122452020.1625683234981690.7169512319803672.301767564618262.93588678168761
80th0.20.542802685008703-0.3018751287863220.6117788088914720.6542795221808012.433772807053353.04738944620995
90th-0.1-0.101355631572297-0.6785034876347411.954446785417870.6974395904597142.936009452442393.75393630919567
Show Table: Table 3.2 Percentage change in weekly earnings at every 10th percentile (year on year)

Figure 3.5 and Table 3.3 show that 28.7% of all employments earned less than €400 per week. Jobs earning between €400 and €800 per week accounted for 39.4% of all employments. Almost a third (31.9%) of all employments earned more than €800 per week. In 2018, 6.5% of employments earned €1,600 or more per week.

The economic sector with the highest proportion of employments earning less than €400 per week was the Accommodation and Food Services sector (68.1%) while the Information and Communication sector (23%) had the highest proportion of employments earning €1,600 or more per week.

X-axis labelLess than €400€400-<€800€800-<€1200€1200-<€1600€1600 or more
B-E Industry11.946.221.610.310
F Construction2347.421.25.43
G Wholesale & retail43.939.69.13.63.7
H Transporation & storage19.748.5216.14.7
I Accommodation & food services68.128.62.40.50.3
J Information & communication8.529.522.816.223
K-L Financial, insurance & real estate12.336.322.711.916.8
M Professional, scientific & technical services1841.119.59.611.8
N Administrative & support services35.747.99.63.13.7
O Public administration & defence6.738.929.417.57.4
P Education24.132.425.313.44.9
Q Human health & social work2541.223.26.73.8
R-S Arts, entertainment & recreation55.932.96.92.22.2
Total28.739.417.67.86.5
Show Table: Table 3.3 Distribution of employees by weekly earnings in each NACE principal activity 2018

Table 3.4 below presents the proportion of employments for each main economic sector by decile for the year 2018. The deciles are calculated based on the earnings of all employments.

Looking at the table we see that the sectors with the highest proportion of employments whose earnings are in the bottom decile of earnings are the Accommodation and Food Services sector (28%) and the Arts, entertainment, recreation and other service activities sector (24%).

At the other end of the earnings distribution, the sectors with the highest proportion of employments whose earnings are in the top decile of earnings are the Information and Communication sector (31%) and the Financial, Insurance and Real Estate sector  (23%).

Show Table: Table 3.4 Proportion of employees in each NACE principal activity by decile 2018

Go to: Industry