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Gardaí Surpass IT Professionals as Ireland’s Highest-Paid Workers; CSO Report

In the third quarter of 2023, members of An Garda Síochána claimed the title of the highest-paid employees in Ireland, surpassing those in the information and communication sector, traditionally the best-paying industry, according to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO). Gardaí reported average weekly earnings, inclusive of overtime and irregular pay, amounting to €1,579.28 between July and September this year. This figure exceeded the average weekly earnings of workers in the information and communication sector, which stood at €1,525.19.

The CSO figures revealed a notable 16% annual increase in Garda pay, equating to €218.15. The rise was attributed to back pay awarded under the latest public sector wage agreement implemented in October of the previous year, entailing a 3% salary increase for public servants. This agreement, however, had a backdated effect from February 2022.

On an hourly basis, gardaí earned an average of €30.38 in the third quarter, while their counterparts in the information technology sector earned €35.44. Irregular earnings or bonuses for IT workers typically peak in the first quarter. The CSO noted a 6.3% growth in average weekly earnings across the public sector as a whole in the year to the third quarter, rising from €1,058.98 to €1,125.92. An Garda Síochána boasted the highest average weekly earnings, while the education sector led in the highest average hourly earnings at €46.89 during this period.

The overall findings indicated a 4.6% annual increase in average weekly earnings across the economy, reaching €907.72 in the third quarter of 2023, up from €867.63 in the same period the previous year. This suggests robust wage growth without alarming inflationary pressures. However, average hourly earnings experienced a significant 6.2% jump, reaching €27.82 in the third quarter.

The CSO figures showed an increase in average weekly earnings across 12 out of 13 sectors. The arts, entertainment, recreation, and other service activities sector led with the largest annual percentage increase in average weekly earnings in the private sector, recording a growth of 10.6%. The information and communication sector retained its status as the highest-paying sector in the private industry, with earnings up over 2% year-on-year, though showing a 1.9% decline on a quarterly basis. The accommodation and food services sector reported the lowest average weekly earnings at €440.23, with the sector including a significant number of part-time staff.

Additionally, the job vacancy rate in the third quarter dropped to 1.2%, down from 1.3% in the previous quarter and 1.6% at the end of the third quarter in 2022. According to the CSO, the information and communication sector reported the highest average hourly total labour costs in the third quarter at €53.16, while the accommodation and food service activities sector recorded the lowest average total labour costs at €18.04.

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