Earnings and Low Pay in the Republic of Ireland

As signs of economic recovery continue to emerge, issues relating to quality of life, living standards, the provision of public services and adequacy of income are returning to the policy sphere. Included among these are issues related to earnings and pay levels.

This paper examines low pay both in the context of the distribution of earnings within the income distribution and the distribution of hourly earnings across all employees. While the analysis in the paper focuses on the latter, the paper grounds that assessment within the context of earnings among all workers, both employees and the self-employed.

Overall the paper aims to provide greater clarity on the overall shape of earnings across the state and in particular to establish a more robust evidence base for our understanding of the nature and shape of low pay. The analysis implies some implications for policy and these are also explored.

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