Inflation hitting NI pay packets, says statistics agency

Wages in Northern Ireland have dropped by 1% once inflation is taken into account, according to new figures from BBC website.

A typical full-time worker earns a £501 a week, or about £26,000 a year.

Although that is an increase of 1.5% on 2016, the rise in the cost of living has wiped out the impact.

According to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), inflation-adjusted wages "have yet to return to 2009 levels of £516 a week".

Pay in Northern Ireland in 2017 is the third lowest of the UK's 12 regions and 9% below the national average.

The details are contained in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

It is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs and is taken from HM Revenue and Customs' Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records.

The impact of National Living Wage, introduced last year, continues to be felt.

As a result, the report says those in lower pay sectors have received bigger percentage increases than high earners.

In Northern Ireland, wages in the sector remain about 30% greater than in the private sector.

NISRA said the median weekly pay packet is £446 in the private sector compared £623 in the public sector.

The local public-private sector gap is much more pronounced than in the UK overall, where public sector full-time earnings were 11% higher than in the private sector.