Preliminary estimates from the Central Statistics Office show that average weekly earnings rose to €707.99 in the first quarter of 2016, up 1.1% from €700.63 a year ago. 

The CSO said that revised average weekly earnings stood at €710.16 in the fourth quarter of last year, an increase of 1.1% over the same time in 2014. 

Today's figures also show that average hourly earnings were €22.40 in the first three months of the year, up from €22.25 the same time the previous year - an increase of 0.7%. 

The CSO said that average weekly paid hours were 31.6 in the three month period, up 0.3% on those recorded in the first quarter of 2015.

The figures also reveal that the job vacancy rate at the end of the first quarter was 0.9%, a decrease from 1.1% at the end of the first quarter the previous year.