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Irish salaries stagnant since 2008?

  • 30-06-2022 3:11pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Recently was looking at jobs in my industry back in Ireland. Was surprised to see most at same pay rates or even less than 2008, 14 years ago. For instance account managers on 35-45k/yr, sales managers 60k etc.

    Talked to a recruiter and she said the same.

    That was quite disappointing and points to quite a drop in real income over the last decade and more for equivalent roles starting out, taking into account very significant inflation and tax increases such as USC in the meantime.

    Looked at the stats and sure enough average wage were 46k in 2008 and 49k now even though have almost full employment.

    Relative to wage growth in the US, Middle east or Asia its really not great and Ireland is one of the best Eurozone economies supposedly.

    What has been the salary trend in your industry?



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,423 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    What is disappointing about it? Inflation has been minimal or non-existent for over a decade, so why do you think there should be much of change in salaries. Have you seen dramatic increases in productivity or something that might warrant a corresponding pay raise??? And nothing you have said would justify your claim that real income has declined...

    As for comparisons, you need to compare with similar economies. With a per capita gdb of 78k and consistent positive balance of trade Ireland, is a wealthy country, like Switzerland (81k), Norway (75k) , Iceland (66k), Austria (55k) and not like say the UK (46k) or France (44k). You don't get wage increases in such countries unless there is a productivity increase or a promotion. And I very much doubt there are many who'd want to swap with a worker in the US, Middle East or Asia, when taken into account the totality of the lifestyle.

    I live in Switzerland (32 years) and I have not heard of a general pay increase being offered in years. It's just how it is in wealthy countries because such increases will have a direct impact on the cost of living.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Why so defensive?

    Of course its disappointing, almost no increase in 14 years.

    14 years is a long time.

    As somebody looking at moving back to Ireland it made it relatively less attractive.

    US salaries and some countries in Asia have moved ahead significantly in that time. I would get paid 1.5x for the same job in many developed countries even before a lower tax burden. I was surprised to see salaries had hardly budged. It's also related to euro currency weakness.

    Now one could argue that the Celtic tiger inflated salaries but that still doesn't deal with the disappointment. And its more than disappointment you have to think about your lifestyle getting cramped if real earnings are dropping.

    PS You are very arrogant if you believe we can't have a fantastic lifestyle in Asia or the US or Australia on a good wage.

    PPS Inflation in cost of living has been rampant the last few years if you take into account housing costs.

    Post edited by maninasia on

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,423 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    When you have unrealistic expectations, you should not be surprised if they don't work out...

    And if you think you can move a "fantastic lifestyle in Asia or the US or Australia" as opposed to Ireland, then of you go, no one is stopping you, well trying at least.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,943 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Plenty of jobs were significantly overpaid in 08 and are quite static since. Lots and lots are paid more.

    Inflation '08-'20 was basically nil.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    I have already experienced living overseas look at my username lol. Hence my comments when looking at earnings now compared to last time I looked back im 2008.

    Fantastic lifestyle, increased earnings over time, sunny, very low taxes, great food. 👍 👌

    My lifestyle is likely way better than most people in Switzerland or Ireland. Not boasting just it's highly probable.

    Worked out very well indeed.

    I don't appreciate lectures I don't need nor asked for.

    Why so snarky and defensive?

    I have looked at the CSO stats and they say average pay has only increased 3k in 14 years.

    I'm not pulling these numbers out of my ass.

    Post edited by maninasia on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,994 ✭✭✭KaneToad

    Why do you want to return if everything is so much better in Asia?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Even if I agreed with that statement that inflation was nil (I don't), lack of increase in earnings is going to suck bad now with rampant inflation the last few years meaning lifestyles are going to get degraded.

    Post edited by maninasia on

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,760 ✭✭✭standardg60

    Such an agenda driven thread, wages in 08 were way over-inflated, and as said above there has been zero inflation since.

    Stay where you are if you're that unimpressed

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    I will move where I like. I dont need your snark.

    You lads need to stop attacking posters here about posting information you dont like.

    I told you the stats are CSO stats. I also noticed that in my industry wages for some jobs may have even decreased.

    Wages are NOT inflated now and they are not keeping up with some countries. Fact.

    Seriously. That you take this defensively is on you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    why would I need to tell you jonny randomer my reasons for looking , thats none of your business.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    NO Inflation since 2008?

    Yeah buddy whatever you say.

    Did you check the price of basically everything now?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,046 ✭✭✭ongarite

    Wages in STEM industries are up since 2008, some significantly so.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

    A lot more assistant psychology jobs have gone from hse voluntary to hse paid of about 25k, still an absolutely shockingly low wage but getting there SSSLLLOOOWWWLLLYYY

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    See this is the feedback Im looking for. Can you give some specific examples?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Thanks for your contribution.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,046 ✭✭✭ongarite

    What industry are you trained in, working in?

    Sales it looks like which is a cut throat low wage job IMO

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    I work in STEM also. Unwilling to go into too many details cos some cray ppl out there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38 Shiok

    Can’t speak to the US or Middle East but the largest financial barriers in returning to Ireland from Asia for us would be the significant increase in income tax and on a personal level the loss of our expat package, rather than concern over salary competitiveness.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭NSAman

    I would love to return home. However, compared to Ireland, here in the US it feels like you pay tax alright but you are not giving away ALL your income. Tax rate for myself is around 32% of gross. Obviously other taxes come into play, but they are “choice”, etc, but again a refund of so many tax deductions makes it feel like you actually do earn money.

    wages in the US have increased across the board. My staff all got 20% increases this year each year they get an increase. Basic wage for anything here is $15 or €14.50 per hour plus incentives.

    my admin staff get paid $60k +/-, creative staff $120k+, senior management $160k+.

    Immigration employment rates for green card applicants have increased dramatically in the past year. PERM wage adjudications have basically doubled.

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭knockoutned

    I think it is unfair to try and compare a salary in Ireland to a salary in the US (as I know, I have been doing it a lot recently), as it's apples and oranges.

    Yes, your gross pay might be more and the tax as a percentage lower, but if you want to compare both realistically, you need to factor the cost of health insurance and education (from daycare to college – if you have kids) in the US when calculating your overall tax percentage.  For example, where I am in the NE, daycare costs avg about $3k per child per month. I’m lucky that I don’t have to pay for health insurance, but to note, the amount paid by my insurance for the recent birth of our child was over $100K (no complications). You may be on an ex pat contract, so insurance is covered, but an average Joe in the US pays for health insurance while the same Joe in Ireland doesn’t.  

    Other factors that impact your discretionary cash is housing and food. Housing costs where I am based are over double what you would pay for a like for like neighborhood in Ireland, while the cost of decent fresh fruit, veg, and meat here is ridiculous. Utility bills are also a lot higher.

    In my opinion, do yourself a favor and compare your net salary after all expenses, and see where you are. I think Ireland does ok.  

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Sales is not an industry IMO and of course roles related to sales are diverse.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Agreed costs are higher for many, not all, in the US but the often large wage differential is still there.

    A lot of people have private health insurance in Ireland, in my opinion its also a necessity as the public service is so difficult to access.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭HerrKuehn

    One thing that is important to remember is that it is not absolute salary that is most important. The percentile that your salary fits in is probably more important. So while in a lot of countries a 100k salary might be regarded as decent enough, it wouldn't go very far in SF. Different skills are valued differently in different labour markets as well. As an example, say English teaching might have a good salary in Beijing relative to the average, whereas a labourer on a construction site would not (I would expect in Dublin the situation would be reversed). If you find yourself in the top couple of percent of earners in any country, you will have a good standard of living.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,860 ✭✭✭Pissy Missy

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,246 ✭✭✭✭Dyr

    Certain people get very scorpy when they know that the answer to a question is "immigration". These people are not hard to spot, they usually have "mod" under their username. 😂

    Bear in mind that the European economy recovered but failed to really grow since 2008 and now that the people who know best put our economies in deep freeze and pissed all our money up against the wall on Covid we can look forward to a recession. But still our immigration figures will be thankfully robust.

    Stay where you are basically :)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭NSAman

    We have and Ireland is significantly more expensive to live in. Healthcare for all our employees is covered. VHI would be 300 a month for each of us. Insurance higher, electrical higher (unless you turn off all the lights) heating higher. Motoring (without a doubt higher (and not even a fraction of what we both drive here). Shopping would be similar if not cheaper in Ireland and better quality in Ireland.

    clothing prices in Ireland are a rip off compared to the states…I know same items are almost double the costs here.

    discretionary spending is one thing we spend a lot of in the States. Nights away, eating out, to my mind (currently based on our trip home in January ) WAY higher in Ireland.

    Believe me when I say, we have been looking to move back. I doubt it will happen. Congratulations on the new baby, we would be older, the healthcare is a major issue for us. We both have good insurance in the states. Deductible $250. Having experienced the irish health service with my dad (god rest him) and mam, I am terrified of having to deal with it.

    what I think we will end up doing is living part-time in Ireland, part-time in the States.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,523 ✭✭✭maninasia

    Where I live in Asia they have an excellent public health system, its also very hard to leave that behind. We pay very reasonable premiums for it. Cost of living at 60% of Ireland even before massively higher income taxes in Ireland. There's no financial reason for me to ever move back.

    But I have to say the point of this thread for me is trying to understand salary trends, I'm sure there are significant dkfferences between industries.

    Public servants average pay is higher at approx 52k per year, gardai @72k per year getting the highest average pay.

    The whole picture of jobs and pay trends is quite complex given the ups and down in Ireland over the years along with some industries that pay way above average such as IT skewing the picture a bit.

  • Registered Users Posts: 119 ✭✭knockoutned

    That’s interesting, though I would guess what state you are living in would also impact your take home pay. Our electric bill here are crazy during the summer with air con, and gas bills in the winter. We were lucky to do a dummy run last year back in Ireland as we were both working from home and it seemed all utilities were cheaper in Ireland. I guess the house being small was a factor.

    I agree with you that the stage of your life impacts the choice. My kids are young, so the full education costs are ahead of us. The thought of paying that in the US puts me off staying. Also, and while a little dramatic, I’m not overly delighted with the thought of my kids learning how duck and cover or play dead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,565 ✭✭✭Nermal

    Another difference: the 'at will' nature of nearly all employment. US employees are basically contractors.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,638 ✭✭✭...Ghost...

    I work in STEM and was recently in the states doing some training. For the same job, they earned twice what we earn which seemed nuts to me. But then I realised that their contracts stated 10 hour working days, 6 days a week. I'll take my 8x5 with some semblance of family life over their live to work setup any day. If I worked the same hours as my American counterparts, my salary would be a little higher because of OT. Also everything over there seemed way more expensive than here.