Salaries and wages rising at record rate
12:00PM Monday Nov 03, 2008

Salary and wage rates grew at a record 3.6 per cent in the year to the September quarter, figures published today by Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) show.

The annual increase in the labour cost index (LCI) was the largest since the series began in the December 1992 quarter.

Results of the quarterly employment survey (QES) for the September quarter, also published today, showed the annual increase in total gross earnings continued to exceed the annual increase in total paid hours.

That resulted in a 5.5 per cent increase in average total hourly earnings, to $24.37.

The QES average earnings statistics reflected not only changes in pay rates, but also compositional and other changes across and within the paid workforce.

In comparison, the LCI measures changes in salary and wage rates for a fixed quantity and quality of labour input.

The QES results showed that while annual earnings growth remained strong, the growth in demand for labour slowed, SNZ said.

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