Wage growth in the Irish economy has accelerated to more than 3 per cent, the fastest rate recorded since the recession, suggesting wage pressures are beginning to emerge as the labour market tightens.
Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show average annual earnings increased by 3.3 per cent to €38,871 in 2018, from €37,637 the previous year. This compares with an annual increase of just under 2 per cent in 2017.
Average annual earnings for full-time employees last year were €47,596, up 2.6 per cent, while the average for part-time employees was €17,651, an increase of 3.5 per cent.
It comes as the State’s headline rate of unemployment fell to 4.4 per cent in May, its lowest level since since 2005 and close to historical lows.
The latest earnings data show average annual earnings rose in all 13 economic sectors surveyed by the CSO in 2018.
The largest percentage increase of 7.9 per cent was recorded in the information and communication sector where average annual earnings rose from €56,758 to €61,269.
Average annual earnings in the construction sector rose by 5.7 per cent, rising from €38,391 to €40,561. The public administration and defence sector recorded the lowest average annual earnings growth of 1.7 per cent in the year, increasing from €48,907 to €49,724.
The accommodation and food services sector, which covers most of the hospitality sector, had average annual total earnings of €18,262, the lowest of the sectors.