Hourly labour costs, which include wages plus employers’ tax contributions, dropped last year by 0.2pc to €29.80.
Ireland was one of seven countries in Europe where hourly labour costs fell.
But labour costs here are still well above the European Union (EU) average of €24.60, and 10th highest behind countries including Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg, according to Europe’s statistical agency Eurostat.
Bulgaria, Lithuania and Romania had the lowest figures, with the former at €3.80 per hour.
Here, trade unions are pushing for higher wages as economic recovery pushes our growth rate to the top of the European league table.
Ireland is forecast to be the fastest growing EU economy again this year.
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has already signalled that lower paid civil servants could be in line for pay increases, with negotiations set to begin shortly after the Government scrutinises the next round of Exchequer Returns, which are due out on Thursday.
Labour costs include wages, employers social contributions and other factors such as insurance, although employers’ social contributions in Ireland accounted for a lower proportion than in other countries.