Three-quarters of minimum wage earners are female

Some 70,000 Irish employees – 5% of workforce – earning statutory minimum wage

Almost three-quarters of the 70,000 Irish workers on minimum wage are female, according to new research.

The study carried out by the Nevin Economic Research Institute (Neri) found employees who earn the minimum wage of €9.15 per hour comprise about 5 per cent of the total workforce.

Some 34,000 of those who earn minimum wage are working full-time, and most low-paid in the State are in their 20s and 30s.

The Neri study prepared a profile of workers most likely to earn lower amounts, which included employees in sectors such as accommodation, food and retail. Minimum-wage workers are typically on part-time or temporary contracts, work fewer than 20 hours per week and tend to be in the private sector.


The paper was compiled by Neri’s senior economist Micheál Collins and examined living conditions and income data from the CSO.

He said the results were not surprising but helped create a more comprehensive picture. “Establishing a profile of those who are on the minimum wage facilitates a better understanding of the socio-economic context of current considerations of changes to the minimum wage.”