Gender pay gap continues to widen
The pay gap between men and women in Ireland has widened, official figures have revealed.
The difference in average wage levels had been decreasing for years but the trend has reversed since 2007.
The latest report by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows women are now getting paid almost 13% less then their male counterparts.
The gender gap had dropped to a record low of 10.7% in October 2007. But since then it has continued to widen, with slight increases over the following two years.
CSO officials said the latest figures from its National Employment Survey - for October 2009 - put the average pay difference between men and women at 12.8%.
The report found that average earnings in October 2009 were 22.05 euro an hour - up 2% on the previous year.
Men's average hourly pay was 23.63 euro, compared to 20.61 euro for women, and men's wages jumped 2.5% from the previous year against a 2% rise for women.
Wage gaps in other European countries are as low as 3.2% in Slovenia, with Italy on 5.5% and Malta on 6.9%.
The highest inequality levels were reported for Estonia, on 30.9%, followed by the Czech Republic (25.9%), Austria (25.4%) and Germany, on 23.2%.
When the survey was first carried out in 2003, there was a 15.8% gender gap in Irish wages, which had been closing until four years ago.