Irish wages have grown by just 1.6% in eight years

However wages here were higher than several larger nations

Ireland, wages, growth, TUC, UK, average wage, OECD, Stephen Donnelly

A counterfeit money expert holds €20 banknotes at the German Federal Bank | Image: Jens Meyer / AP/Press Association Images

Wages in Ireland grew by 1.6% in real terms between 2007 and 2015, according to the British union TUC.

This is significantly below the average OECD increase of 6.7%.

The union examined wage falls in several economies, which showed Ireland had the 6th lowest rate of increase out of 29 OECD nations.

It also found that Greek, British and Portuguese workers saw the three biggest wage drops in the same period.

"By contrast, over the same eight-year period, real wages grew in Poland by 23%, in Germany by 14%, and in France by 11%," it says.

Other counties that saw high increases were Estonia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Luxembourg and Canada.

The UK, Greece and Portugal were the only three OECD countries which saw real wages fall.

Stephen Donnelly of the Social Democrats says Ireland must be on track to reverse the falls in recent years.

"Continued low wage growth is not an option - or we are going to see, I believe, some of the social fracturing and some of the extremism that has begun to manifest in the UK and in the US," he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"We need to move towards a living wage - it seems like a very reasonable thing that anyone who goes out and works 36 or 40 hours a week should be able to earn enough money to live with dignity."

He says this has to be done in conjunction with employers.

Irish wages vs others

While OECD research from 2015 also shows that Irish average wages were higher than several of our neighbours.

Ireland had an average wage US$46,074 for 2015 - this is higher than numerous countries including Spain, Finland, Italy, Japan, France, the UK and Germany.

While Switzerland, the US and Luxembourg had the highest average wage - ranging from US$58,389 to $US60,369.

Average wages are calculated by dividing the national-accounts-based total wage bill by the average number of employees in the economy.

This is then multiplied by the ratio of the average usual weekly hours per full-time employee to the average usually weekly hours for all employees.

This indicator is then measured in US dollars using 2012 as a base year.

Source: OECD