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New Zealand Income Survey: June 2012 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  04 October 2012
Commentary

All changes in this information release are non-significant unless otherwise specified.

Overview

Income from all sources: Between the June 2011 and June 2012 quarters, median weekly income for all people from all sources did not significantly increase. It was up 1.8 percent, from $550 to $560.

Wage and salary income: Median weekly income from wages and salaries, for those receiving income from this source, was up $6 (0.7 percent) to $806 in the year to the June 2012 quarter.

From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, the annual increase in median hourly earnings was 48 cents (2.4 percent), up to $20.86. Median hourly earnings increased similarly for both males (up 42 cents to $22.00) and females (up 45 cents to $19.95).

Self-employment income: The proportion of people aged 65 and over (65+) receiving income from self-employment was up significantly – from 6.0 percent in the June 2011 quarter to 7.5 percent in the June 2012 quarter. For the same period, the proportion of all people receiving income from self-employment was unchanged (10.5 percent). Median weekly income from self-employment, for those receiving income from this source, was unchanged at $575.

Government transfer income: In the year to the June 2012 quarter, the number of people receiving income from government transfers increased significantly (up 3.0 percent). A significant increase in the number of people aged 65+ receiving income from government transfers (up 5.0 percent) was the main contributor to this rise.

Median weekly income from government transfers, for those receiving this source of income, increased by $8 (2.8 percent) to $288. This was a significant increase that was mainly influenced by the adjustments to New Zealand Superannuation (2.65 percent) and to main benefits and student allowances (1.77 percent), which came into effect on 1 April 2012.

For more information on the terms and concepts used in this release please see Definitions.

No significant increase in median weekly income from all sources

From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, median weekly income for all people from all sources (including those with no source of income) increased by $10 (1.8 percent) to $560. 

Age groups: There were significant increases in median weekly income from all sources in the year to the June 2012 quarter for these age groups:

  • 20–24 years – up $33 (8.1 percent) to $436
  • 60–64 years – up $50 (9.6 percent) to $575
  • 65+ years – up $13 (3.4 percent) to $398.

For the 60–64-year age group, the increase in income was mainly influenced by wage and salary income. Please see Little change in median weekly wage and salary income for more details. Increases in government transfers and self-employment contributed to the change in income from all sources for those 65+. These increases are discussed further in Income from government transfers, and  More people 65+ receive income from self-employment. For the 20–24-year age group, there was no single source of income that most influenced the increase in income from all sources.

Males and females: There was no significant increase in median weekly income from all sources for either males or females between the June 2011 and June 2012 quarters. Median weekly income from all sources for males was $707 and for females was $450 in the June 2012 quarter. The difference mainly reflects differing patterns of labour force participation.

Māori and non-Māori : From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, median weekly income from all sources for:

  • Māori increased – up $16 (3.4 percent) to $475
  • non-Māori increased – up $15 (2.7 percent) to $575.

Average weekly income: Average weekly income from all sources significantly increased – up $19 (2.6 percent) to $721 from the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter. 

Little change in median weekly wage and salary income

Between the June 2011 and the June 2012 quarters, for those receiving income from wages and salaries:

  • median weekly income from wages and salaries increased – up $6 (0.7 percent) to $806
  • average weekly income from wages and salaries increased significantly – up 2.7 percent to $922
  • aggregate hours worked increased – up 0.9 percent.  

The change in median weekly income from wages and salaries is the smallest increase since the June 1999 quarter.

The proportion of all people receiving income from wages and salaries decreased from 53.2 percent to 52.9 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter.

Graph,median weekly income from wages and salaries, for those receiving income from this source, June quarter 2002 to 2012.

The increases in median and average weekly income from wages and salaries are the result of a change in the distribution of people receiving income from this source. From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter:

  • the number of people receiving less than $430 per week decreased (this was the lowest quintile in the June 2011 quarter)
  • the number of people receiving more than $1,245 per week increased (this was the highest quintile in the June 2011 quarter).

Graph, number of people by personal weekly income quintile, June quarter, 2011 and 2012.

Age group: From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, median weekly income from wages and salaries significantly increased for people:

  • aged 60–64 – up $62 (7.8 percent) to $860
  • aged 20–24 and in part-time employment – up $32 (14.7 percent) to $250.

Little change in hourly earnings

From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, median hourly earnings:

  • for all wage and salary earners increased by 48 cents (2.4 percent) to $20.86
  • for full-time wage and salary earners increased by 32 cents (1.5 percent) to $22.32
  • for part-time wage and salary earners was unchanged at $16.00.

Although there was little change for all wage and salary earners, there was a significant increase in part-time median hourly earnings (from $13.00 to $13.50) for the 15–19-year age group. This is consistent with the rise in the adult minimum wage, which came into effect on 1 April 2012.

Average hourly earnings increased by 30 cents (1.2 percent) to $25.07 in the year to the June 2012 quarter. This was the smallest percentage increase since the survey began in 1997.

Industry divisions: From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, two industries recorded significant increases in median hourly earnings. The professional, scientific, technical, administration, and support services industry increased $1.93 (8.4 percent) to $24.93. The education and training industry increased 69 cents (2.9 percent) to $24.66.

Males and females: In the year to the June 2012 quarter, median hourly earnings increased for:

  • males by 42 cents (1.9 percent) to $22.00
  • females by 45 cents (2.3 percent) to $19.95.

As earnings for both sexes increased by a similar amount, this left the ratio of median hourly earnings between females and males relatively unchanged, at 90.7 percent. For full-time earners, the ratio of female to male earnings was also relatively unchanged, at 93.8 percent.

A ratio of 100 percent would show there was no difference between male and female earnings. These ratios do not take into account factors that could influence a difference in earnings (eg occupation, qualifications gained, age, and hours worked).

More people 65+ receive income from self-employment

From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, the proportion of people aged 65+ receiving income from self-employment increased significantly (from 6.0 percent to 7.5 percent). Over the same period, median weekly income from self-employment, for those aged 65+ receiving income from this source, increased by $19 (5.3 percent) to $384.

From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, the proportion of all people receiving income from self-employment was unchanged (10.5 percent). Over the same period, median weekly income for all people receiving income from self-employment was unchanged ($575).

Graph, proportion of people aged 65+ receiving income from self-employment, June quarter 2007 to 2012.

Income from government transfers increases

Government transfers include income from benefits, student allowances, Accident Compensation Corporation payments, New Zealand Superannuation, veteran’s and war pensions, and tax credits such as Working for Families.

In the year to the June 2012 quarter, median weekly income from government transfers, for those receiving income from this source:

  • increased significantly overall – by $8 (2.8 percent) to $288
  • increased significantly for males – by $9 (3.3 percent) to $286
  • increased for females – by $6 (2.1 percent) to $298.

The increases in median weekly income from government transfers were influenced by:

  • adjustment to New Zealand Superannuation – up 2.65 percent
  • adjustments to main benefits and student allowances – up 1.77 percent
  • more people receiving supplementary benefits, such as the accommodation supplement.

The adjustments to main benefits, student allowances, and New Zealand Superannuation came into effect on 1 April 2012.

In the year to the June 2012 quarter, the number of people receiving income from government transfers increased significantly (by 3.0 percent). The 65+ age group was the main group contributing to this rise.

Graph, people aged 65+ receiving income from government transfers, June quarter, 2006 to 2012. Graph, median weekly income from government transfers, for people aged 65+, June quarter 2006 to 2012.

The increase in median weekly income from government transfers was mainly influenced by people aged 65+. From the June 2011 to the June 2012 quarter, for those aged 65+ who received income from government transfers, their median weekly income from this source increased significantly. It was up by $8 (2.7 percent) to $309. Over the same period, the number of people 65+ receiving income from this source increased significantly – by 5.0 percent to 562,100.

The increase in median weekly income from government transfers for those 65+ reflects the adjustment made to New Zealand Superannuation.

Other indicators

Investment income: At $13 in the June 2012 quarter, median weekly income from investments, for those receiving this source of income, was relatively unchanged. The proportion of people receiving income from investments decreased over the year to the June 2012 quarter, down 0.9 percentage points to 33.0 percent.

Regional income: From the June 2011 to June 2012 quarter, there were no significant changes in median weekly income from paid employment for any region. Auckland had the highest median weekly income from paid employment (at $863), and Wellington the second-highest (at $850).

Household income: For the year to the June 2012 quarter, median weekly household income from all sources increased by $15 (1.2 percent) to $1,304.

For more detailed data, see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

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