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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly

Q2 2021 (Final) Q3 2021 (Preliminary Estimates)

 Unadjusted Seasonally Adjusted
 Average Weekly EarningsAverage Hourly EarningsAverage Weekly Paid HoursAverage Hourly Total Labour CostsAverage Weekly EarningsAverage Hourly EarningsAverage Weekly Paid HoursAverage Hourly Total Labour Costs
  € €Hours € € €Hours €
Q3 2020794.8924.3832.627.07806.7025.0732.427.77
Q2 2021850.8026.0732.628.98847.8426.0532.628.97
Q3 2021*837.4225.3133.127.93850.6126.0532.628.68
Quarterly change %    0.3---1.0
Annual change %5.43.81.53.2    
* Preliminary Estimates

Average weekly earnings up 5.4% in year to Q3 2021

Average weekly earnings by economic sector
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The COVID-19 crisis continues to have an impact on the Quarter 3 (Q3) 2021 data collection and the Q3 2021 Preliminary Estimates for the Earnings and Labour Costs release. Across and within economic sectors the impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to be experienced very differently. When considering the change in earnings, hours and labour costs, it should be noted that there may be a compositional effect due to the significant changes in employment in certain sectors. The composition of the labour market in Q3 2021 may be very different to the composition of the labour market in previous quarters. Government measures were put in place in response to COVID-19, which resulted in the closures of non-essential businesses at the end of Q1 2020. These restrictions were lifted and re-imposed over the course of 2020 and 2021, with some sectors being affected by business closures for some or all weeks of Q3 2021. 

The CSO has published a technical note to accompany this release for users on the implications of the COVID-19 crisis on the Earnings and Labour Costs release. That technical note is available here: Technical Note – Impact of COVID-19 on the Earnings and Labour Costs release - updated Quarter 3 2021The detailed commentary usually provided on the Earnings and Labour Costs tables has not been included here but can be made available to users on request to earnings@cso.ie.

Preliminary estimates for Q3 2021

According to preliminary estimates of the Earnings and Labour Costs Quarterly release, average weekly earnings were €837.42 in Q3 2021, an increase of 5.4% from €794.89 one year earlier and an increase of 8.9% from the same period in 2019. This represents average earnings of those remaining in employment in the Irish economy in Q3 2021, including those supported by the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS).

When considering the change in earnings, it should be noted that there may be a compositional effect due to the significant changes in employment in certain sectors. The change in average weekly earnings may be impacted to some degree by those employments that have left or joined a sector having lower/higher average earnings than those employments that remained in the sector in both quarters.

Final data for average weekly earnings in Q2 2021 were €850.80 and showed an increase of 4.1% from the same period in 2020. See Tables 1 and 4.

Other features of the preliminary results for Q3 2021 include:

  • Average hourly earnings were €25.31 in Q3 2021, an increase of 3.8% from €24.38 in Q3 2020 and an increase of 7.6% from €23.53 in Q3 2019. See Table 2.
  • Average weekly paid hours were 33.1 in Q3 2021, an increase of 1.5% from 32.6 in Q3 2020 and an increase of 1.2% from 32.7 in Q3 2019.  See Table 3.
  • Average hourly total labour costs were €27.93 in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of 3.2% from the value of €27.07 one year previously and an increase of 2.3% from €27.31 in 2019. See Table 6c.
  • Seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings in Q3 2021 were €850.61, an increase of 0.3% from the previous quarter. See Headline Table.
  • Average weekly earnings increased by 6.3% across the public sector and by 5.5% across the private sector in the year to Q3 2021. See Tables 1 and 8a.
  • The job vacancy rate at the end of Q3 2021 was 1.5%, an increase from 0.8% at the end of Q3 2020 and an increase from 0.9% at the end of Q3 2019. See Table 7c.

Please see frequently asked questions for more information regarding data presented in this release.

Alongside the ELC release today, the Labour Market and Earnings Analysis area of the CSO are also publishing the ninth in a series of high-level insight bulletins investigating the impact of COVID-19 on the labour market. The insight bulletin being published today is sourced from administrative datasets, namely Revenue's employee level tax data (PMOD), which includes information in relation to the EWSS, as well as data provided from Revenue in relation to the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). This ninth bulletin is specifically designed to complement the Earnings & Labour Costs (ELC) results for Q3 2021 and is available here: Labour Market Insight Bulletin, Series 9 Q3 2021

Note: While there is no internationally agreed methodology for assessing the public / private sector wage gap, the CSO has published analysis of the differential using a matched Labour Force Survey and P35 dataset for 2015-2018. This analysis took account of compositional differences between the public and private sector, such as occupational mix, sectors of activity, gender balance, union membership, etc. The public sector pay gap in 2018 was estimated to range from -3.8% to +0.1% depending on the specification applied and the treatment of the Pension Levy.

See most recent analysis for 2015-2018 here. See also previous versions for 2007-2010 here (PDF 678KB)   and for 2011-2014 here (PDF 686KB)

 

Note: Registered employment estimates in the Earnings and Labour Costs release are adjusted at a sectoral level to reflect the trends of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) sectoral employment, which is the official source of short term changes in employment. A new framework regulation governing the production of European Statistics on persons and households (Integration European Social Statistics Framework Regulation – IESS FR) came into force on 01 January 2021. The CSO had to introduce changes to the LFS questionnaire in Ireland from Quarter 1 (Q1) 2021 because of the IESS regulation. Employment estimates in the Earnings and Labour Costs release for Q1 2021 and Q2 2021 were adjusted based on preliminary estimates from the Labour Force Survey for those quarters. These estimates have since been revised in line with the IESS Regulation and as a result of further refinement of NACE classifications. The revised estimates for Q1 2021 are available in the PxStat database.