Unite writes to National Competitiveness Council expressing concern at presentation of labour cost data

unite-white-out-of-redUnion says NCC use of incomplete measurements presents inaccurate picture

Irish labour costs continue to lag behind European averages

May 1st: The Regional Secretary of Unite, Jimmy Kelly, has written to the National Competitiveness Council Chairperson expressing concern at the presentation of labour cost data in the NCC’s recent paper ‘The Cost of Doing Business in Ireland 2016’. Mr Kelly’s letter to the NCC is available here, and the accompanying Unite Research Note here.

Explaining the background to Unite’s letter, Jimmy Kelly said:

“The NCC used partial and incomplete measurements which led them to a false conclusion – that Irish labour costs are growing faster than the European average. Instead of tracking the growth in labour costs, they relied on using selected data points.

Unite’s research shows that labour costs are falling behind the EU average. In both the short and medium-term, EU labour costs have increased more than twice as fast as Irish labour costs. In the last six months, Irish labour costs actually fell.

Mr Kelly added: “In 2015, Irish labour costs ranked 11th in the EU-15, only ahead of the Mediterranean countries. And when comparing Ireland with our peer group – Northern and Central European economies – Irish labour costs are actually 18 per cent below the average.

“At a time when Irish workers are seeking a share in the economic recovery, it is crucial that the wages debate is informed by accurate and reliable data. I hope that the NCC will correct its outputs on labour costs in Ireland in line with the analysis provided by Unite”, Jimmy Kelly concluded.

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