Work hours fall for first time since 1999
12:45PM Monday Feb 02, 2009

For the first time in nine years the annual amount of adjusted paid hours worked by New Zealanders has fallen, as global economic troubles hit the workforce.

Total paid hours fell by a seasonally adjusted 1.4 per cent in the year to December, the first annual decrease since 1999, Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) said today.

The figures in the quarterly employment survey (QES), show the decrease was mainly due to decreases in the manufacturing, construction, and wholesale trade industries.

For just the December quarter, seasonally adjusted total paid hours were also down 1.4 per cent.

Seasonally adjusted total gross earnings increased by 4.1 per cent in the year to December, but did not increase in the December quarter.

It was the first quarter since June 1999 to show no growth in seasonally adjusted total gross earnings, SNZ said.

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