New figures from the Central Statistics Office show that average weekly earnings fell slightly in the second quarter of 2012, following a 1.3% rise in the first three months of the year.

According to the CSO, average weekly earnings were €687.84 between April and July, down 0.04% on the same period in 2012.

Revised earnings between January and March were €695.75.

Despite the marginal decline overall in the second quarter, average earnings rose in seven of the 13 sectors surveyed by the CSO.

There was a 5.9% increase in weekly earnings in the professional, scientific and technical sectors, the largest recorded in the year to July 2012. Meanwhile, the accommodation and food services sector recorded a 5.7% decline in earnings during the same time.

The average hourly wage also showed no real change, declining just 1c between this year and last year.

The figures also show there were 380,800 people employed in the public sector in Q2, a 25,800 fall when compared to the same period in 2011.