Wage rates grow 2.0 percent

Embargoed until 10:45am  –  07 August 2012
See also:
Quarterly Employment Survey: June 2012 quarter  –  for more data and analysis
Labour Cost Index (Salary and Wage Rates): June 2012 quarter  –  for more data and analysis
Labour Cost Index (Salary and Wage Rates): September 2012 quarter  –  for more data and analysis
Quarterly Employment Survey: September 2012 quarter  –  for more data and analysis

Labour Cost Index (Salary and Wage Rates): June 2012 quarter  –  Media Release

Salary and wage rates, which include overtime, increased 2.0 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This includes a 0.4 percent rise in the June 2012 quarter.

Labour cost index (LCI) private sector salary and wage rates increased 2.1 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter. Public sector rates increased 1.6 percent in the same period. The increase in the latest year resulted from a 1.6 percent increase in central government and a 2.4 percent increase in local government salary and wage rates.

In the year to the June 2012 quarter, the mean increase for all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates that rose was 3.9 percent. This is the highest increase since a 3.9 percent mean increase in the year to the March 2010 quarter. Fifty-six percent of surveyed pay rates showed annual rises in the year to the June 2012 quarter. After the 2008/09 recession, the proportion of salary and ordinary time wage rates that increased had fallen to a low of 43 percent, in the year to the March 2010 quarter. By the year to the June 2011 quarter, 58 percent of salary and ordinary time wage rates increased.

The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), also released today, showed that average hourly earnings for ordinary time (ie excluding overtime) rose 2.9 percent for the June 2012 year. This followed a rise of 3.8 percent for the March 2012 year.

The QES also showed that the number of seasonally adjusted filled jobs and paid hours rose for the June 2012 quarter. Filled jobs rose 0.7 percent for the June quarter due to a rise in full-time employment (up 1.5 percent). A 0.5 percent fall in part-time employment was not enough to offset this. Total paid hours grew 2.1 percent in the June 2012 quarter, rebounding from a fall of 0.5 percent in the March 2012 quarter.

The LCI tracks nearly 6,000 jobs and reflects changes in the rates that employers pay to have the same job done to the same standard. Rises to match the market, retain staff, or reflect the cost of living are shown in the LCI, while rises reflecting individual performance or years of service are filtered out.

The QES surveys approximately 18,000 business locations and reflects New Zealand employers' demand for paid labour. From the survey responses, we estimate the levels and changes in employment, gross earnings, and paid hours in the industries we survey. These estimates are then used to calculate average earnings and paid hours statistics. 

Ends

 
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Chris Pike
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Geoff Bascand
Government Statistician