Wages and salaries up 1.6pc - lowest increase in 16 years
11:45 AM Tuesday Nov 2, 2010

A measure of average total hourly earnings rose just 1.3 per cent in the year to September, the lowest annual increase in 16 years.

The quarterly employment survey (QES), published today by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ), also showed total paid hours and full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) increased 2.4 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively, during the year.

Filled jobs were up 0.7 per cent over the year but down 1 per cent from the previous quarter.

In seasonally adjusted terms, total gross earnings increased 0.8 per cent for the September quarter, while total paid hours increased 0.2 per cent.

Also published today, the labour cost index (LCI), showed salary and wage rates, including overtime, grew 1.6 per cent in the year to the September. That is the same as the movement in the year to the June quarter.

Annual labour cost index wage growth declined from a peak of 4 per cent in the year to September 2008 to 1.5 per cent in the year to the March 2010 quarter, SNZ said.

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