Annual wage and salary rise slowest in nine years
2:10 PM Tuesday May 4, 2010

Salary and wage rates as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) rose just 1.5 per cent in the year to the March quarter, the slowest rise in more than nine years.

Figures released by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) today show public sector salary and wage rates, which include overtime, rising 2.3 per cent, while in the private sector the increase was 1.3 per cent.

Economists are now waiting for the important Household Labour Force Survey due out on Thursday, which will confirm whether or not job growth has taken place over the past few months.

In the March quarter, salary and wage rates, including overtime, grew 0.3 per cent, with the public sector up 0.5 per cent and private sector up 0.3 per cent.

The annual 1.5 per cent rise in the LCI was the lowest since the year to September 2000. It was a continuation of the steady decline in the growth of salary and wage rates, including overtime, from a peak of 4 per cent in the year to September 2008, the highest annual rise since the series started in 1992, SNZ said.

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