Wages grew at their fastest rate in over a decade in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) data published yesterday.
The figures show that average weekly earnings rose 3.5% year on year (yoy) in in fourth quarter 2019, a similar rate to that seen since the second quarter 2018. This growth is all due to growth in average hourly earnings (+3.6% yoy), with average hours worked falling modestly over the past twelve months.
By sector, the strongest growth in weekly earnings was in the accommodation and food sector (+8% yoy), followed by ICT (+6% yoy), due to a combination of higher hourly earnings and a longer working week.
Looking at a core measure that excludes bonuses, hourly earnings growth was 3.7% yoy in Q4 2019. The fastest growth on this measure was Arts, entertainment and recreation (+5.9% yoy), followed by finance (+4.8% yoy) and professional and scientific (+4.5% yoy). All sectors, bar two, are experiencing earnings growth.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "Following on from last week’s positive Irish employment release, the data shows similarly positive trends in earnings that will continue support growth in consumer spending, tax revenues and housing affordability."