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The Earnings and Labour Costs report released today by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) states that weekly earnings are down by 0.6 percent in the year to Quarter 4 2009 but earnings fell by 2.1 percent in the private sector compared with a rise of 0.6 percent in the public sector. Wages are calculated gross before the deduction of income tax, PRSI contributions and levies.

 

Small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees recorded the greatest level of decrease with a fall of 5.2 percent over the year. Medium enterprises with between 50 and 250 employees recorded a decrease of 1.1 percent. However, large enterprises with more than 250 employees recorded an increase of 1.4 percent.

 

Average weekly earnings in the public sector were estimated as €962.14 while in the private sector the estimated figure is €630.66 for Quarter 4 2009. Hourly earnings are estimated to be €29.83 in the public sector and €19.74 in the private sector for the same period.

 

Employee numbers

The public sector recorded 413,000 employees in Quarter 3 of 2008 and the estimated figure for Quarter 4 of 2009 is 413,100 employees. However a rise in the numbers of public sector employees in Quarter 4 of 2008 to 425,300 employees means that a reduction of 2.87 percent of employee numbers has been recorded from Quarter 4 of 2008 to Quarter 4 of 2009.

 

In the private sector there were 1,322,300 employees in Quarter 3 of 2008 and the estimated figure for Quarter 4 of 2009 is 1,151,600 employees; a reduction of 12.98 percent in employee numbers over that period. Numbers of private sector employees declined steadily from Quarter 3 of the 2008 and a reduction of 10.65 percent is recorded from Quarter 4 of 2008 to Quarter 4 of 2009 with there being 1,287,800 employees in the former quarter and 1,150,600 employees estimated in the latter quarter.

 

The reduction in employee numbers was approximately proportionate across small, medium and large enterprises for the period of Quarter 4 2008 to Quarter 4 2009: small enterprises saw a reduction of 8.5 percent, medium enterprises saw a reduction of 8.3 percent and large enterprises saw a reduction of 9 percent.