This post reviews how the wage bill changed across different sectors during 2009, using the latest CSO figures on hours worked and wages paid. Construction and finance have their own issues, but the most interesting comparison is between the public service, where the pay bill still has not fallen, and the rest of the private sector, where it has fallen by 13%. The only sustainable solution involves connecting what public service organisations do back up with how they finance what they do.
This post asks whether Ireland is in a recession or a depression, using the metric of jobs lost. It compares losses in Ireland with those in the US now and in the US during the Great Depression, and finds that – with almost one sixth of its private sector gone – Ireland is in indeed a jobs depression. Come the new year, it will be time for our jobs crisis to take centre stage as its cost to society is easily as large as NAMA or the public finances.