Belfast Telegraph

1.2% real term increase in Northern Ireland earnings, figures suggest

The increase in weekly earnings in Northern Ireland is thought to have been driven by the private sector.

Weekly earnings in Northern Ireland have increased, according to new research.
Weekly earnings in Northern Ireland have increased, according to new research.

By Rebecca Black, PA

There has been a 1.2% real term increase in earnings in Northern Ireland, a survey has suggested.

The rise is thought to have been driven by increases in the private sector.

The figures were contained in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019 published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

Median gross weekly earnings for full-time employees in Northern Ireland in April 2019 were £535, an increase of 3.3% from £518 in 2018.

The increase was larger than the UK average (2.9%) but one of the smallest increases in the UK.

The highest median weekly earnings were in Belfast at £575 and lowest in Ards and North Down at £447.

In real terms, weekly earnings increased by 1.2%, which represents the fourth increase in real earnings in the last five years.

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2019 found that the increase in weekly earnings over the year was driven by increases in the private sector (3.4%).

Weekly earnings in the public sector increased at a much lower rate (0.7%), however public sector earnings remain above earnings in the private sector (31% higher, £625 compared to £479).

Whilst public sector earnings in Northern Ireland were similar to those in the UK, earnings in the private sector in NI remained below those in the UK.

This was attributed to the region having the highest percentage of low paid jobs in the UK.

Around a fifth of all jobs in Northern Ireland are considered low-paid based on OECD measure of low pay.

PA

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