Wednesday April 8, 2020

Our income divide will shape the election in two major ways

It’s not all high-flying IT and finance professionals – 60 per cent of workers in Ireland earn less than €30,000 a year and income and social class are a big influence on how people cast their ballot

26th January, 2020
Since the crisis, there has been an 8 percentage point increase in higher-skilled jobs. Picture: Getty

Two stand-out features of Ireland’s labour market are likely to influence how people vote. First, the country has one of the highest levels of market income inequality in the OECD. This is because there is a very large low-wage sector. Almost 22 per cent of those in full-time employment are classified as low paid.

Second, existing beside this low-wage sector is a very high-paid sector in internationally traded services. These two cohorts of voters...

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