A new ESRI study has found that the 2018 increase in the minimum wage did lead to some immediate reductions in the hours worked by minimum wage employees.

The study, funded by the Low Pay Commission, also found that the reduced hours were only evident in particular segments of the economy and did not last for the entire year.

In January 2018, the minimum wage here increased from €9.25 an hour to €9.55 an hour, an increase of about 3%.

The ESRI said that reduced hours were found in the Dublin and West regions and in the manufacturing sector nationally. 

But it added that the changes did not persist into the second half of 2018, suggesting that any impacts were likely to have been temporary.

During the first and second quarters of last year, the ESRI said the hours worked by minimum wage employees fell by an average of 1.6 hours a week in Dublin and 1.7 hours a week in the West region. 

During the same time, the hours worked by minimum wage workers employed in the manufacturing sector also fell by an average of 1.6 hours a week compared to their non-minimum wage counterparts. 

However, by the final two quarters of 2018, these impacts were no longer present. 

"It is important to recognise that minimum wage changes can affect particular areas of the labour market differently and studies focusing only on national data risk missing important impacts," Professor Seamus McGuinness, an author of the report said, 

"While in this instance we found that any regional and sectoral changes were short-lived, it is important that we continue to monitor this, as impacts could become more persistent during periods of lower economic growth" the Professer added.