NEW research shows that Ireland’s minimum wage employees are suffering disproportionately from job losses.
The research was carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute.
The study, entitled ‘A comparative assessment of minimum wage employment in Europe’, also found that being younger, having low levels of education and not being a citizen were key factors driving a higher likelihood of minimum wage employment across Europe.
Overall 9.6 per cent of workers in Ireland are on the minimum wage of €10.20 per hour, but 43 per cent are employed in accommodation, food, wholesale or retail sectors – a higher share than in any country examined in the study.
The report said: “Public health measures across Europe, and the world, have led to business closures, with accommodation, food and retail being hit particularly hard. Therefore minimum wage employees are likely to suffer disproportionately from job losses arising from the pandemic.”
The ESRI examined data from 2017/2018 to assess how Ireland rates regarding the incidence, profile and job satisfaction of minimum wage workers, along with the relative size of the minimum wage rate, and the risk of poverty.
The study noted that out of 27 EU member states, 21 – along with the United Kingdom – had a statutory minimum wage, with Ireland rating second highest behind Luxembourg in nominal terms.