Average wages for young workers in Ireland are over 8% lower than in 2008, according to new research from the union-backed Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). But average pay for older workers has now surpassed pre-crisis levels.
Workers aged between 18 and 24 earned 8.2% less on average in 2016 than they did in 2008. The figure rises to 8.9% when inflation is taken into account.
In contrast, workers aged between 35 and 44 saw wages rise steadily throughout the recession, to stand 14.6% higher in 2016 than in 2008. Their colleagues in the 45-54 year old group saw the next best gains with average wages 14% higher than in 2008.
The median wage for workers over 55 increased by 5.3% in nominal terms, or 4.6% in real terms, over the same period.
The research also shows that, while the average younger worker is better educated than in 2008, the share of low-skilled jobs has increased. This has a negative effect on the projected lifetime earnings of young Irish workers.
Workers aged under 34 are now more likely to have a post-leaving cert qualification than in 2008, but there has been a 25% drop in the proportion of workers in professional and managerial occupations, and a 60% rise in the share of workers in lower-paid professions.
The NERI study, authored by Ciarán Nugent, looked at changes in annual wages from the height of the boom, through the financial crisis, subsequent recession and four recent years of strong economic growth.
Read the full report HERE