The minimum wage increase that came into force in 2016 did not push up joblessness amongst minimum wage workers, a new survey by the ESRI and the Low Pay Commission shows. 

The increase, which came into force on January 1, 2016, brought the minimum wage up from €8.65 an hour to €9.15.

The study was conducted as part of the Low Pay Commission's responsibility to ensure that the minimum wage does not have any significant adverse impact on employment in the country. 

The report did find, however, that the average number of hours worked by minimum wage workers fell slightly - by about 0.7 hours per week on average.

The drop was as much as 3.3 hours for those on temporary staff.

The ESRI suggested that was, at least in part, due to the number of part-time workers that came into employment following the rate rise as they were encouraged by the fact that they could earn a bit more per hour than before.

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Dr Paul Redmond, a research officer with the ESRI, said the potential negative consequences of minimum wage increases have not been borne out after employers had warned that the move would result in job cuts.

Dr Redmond said there was evidence of a small reduction in hours, but this was as a result of more people entering the workplace, rather than a reduction in hours being forced on workers by employers.

He said that moderate increases to minimum wage do not have many adverse employment effects.

The current minimum wage here rose on January 1 this year to €9.55 an hour.