Revealed: How much the average Northern Irish employee can expect to take home
The hourly earnings of women in full-time work in Northern Ireland are 3% higher than men, according to the latest figures.
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings also showed the weekly income of Northern Ireland men and women had surpassed £500 a week for the first time.
But Ulster Bank chief economist Richard Ramsey said the impact of inflation meant that, in real terms, wages were coming down. At 2.6% - after adjusting for inflation - real-term earnings had seen their steepest fall since 2010, he claimed.
"The average full-time employee in Northern Ireland has not seen their wages recover in real terms since 2009," Mr Ramsey said. "The median annual wage is 5.6% below where it was in 2009 after adjusting for inflation. This represents a loss of £1,550. Indeed, it has been a lost decade for real earnings growth amongst NI's workers."
Median weekly earnings for full-time employees were £501 in April 2017, up 1.5% over the year. In contrast, UK earnings jumped by 2.2% to £550.
Taking out the impact of inflation, private sector earnings were rising faster than public sector, up 3% to £446 per week. However, at £623, public sector earnings were nearly 40% higher.
Full-time women's hourly earnings in NI, at £12.67, were 3% higher than males, at £12.25.
But statistics body Nisra said that, when part-time workers were taken into account, women were earning less than men as women tended to occupy more part-time roles.
It added that full-time hourly earnings for women were higher as a greater proportion of females worked in the highest-paid occupation groups.
Abacus Professional recruitment director Justin Rush said the growth in private sector earnings could be partly due to discretionary bonuses.
"In some cases personal and company performance can add as much as 20% on top of basic earnings," he added.