Wage rises slow - worse to come [The NZ Herald Job Monitor]
4:00AM Wednesday Dec 17, 2008
By Brooke Donovan

The rate of wage increases is slowing and will likely get worse over the coming months as the recession bites.

A survey by the Employers & Manufacturers Association found average wage increases had dropped to 4 per cent from 4.76 per cent at the end of 2007.

EMA Northern employment services manager David Lowe said businesses were trying hard to retain employees, with the memory of skilled-worker shortages fresh in their minds.

"Just a couple of months ago it was difficult for businesses to find staff and they don't want to do anything to lose the very people they've worked hard to find," said Mr Lowe.

But he said it would become more common for companies to postpone wage increases as salary review dates rolled around next year.

"We're more likely to see postponement of salary increases as opposed to giving people nothing," he said. "That's yet to come through because there are common dates for salary reviews like 1 April and 1 July and we haven't had those two dates come through in the current economic circumstances." However, he said the majority of businesses were confident of making it through the recession.

More here.