One in five jobs sees pay drop - survey
6:56 PM Tuesday Nov 10, 2009

One in five jobs has seen a drop in pay this year, according to figures released today .

The Employers and Manufacturers Association's (EMA) annual wage and salary survey found nine per cent of jobs received no increase in pay this year, while 22 per cent saw pay decreases.

The average overall pay increase was 2.5 per cent, with most pay increases less than one per cent.

Northern EMA employment services manager David Lowe said new employees were often hired on lower rates than the staff they had replaced.

Pay rates in some jobs were harder hit than others, with pay rates in food retail dropping 3.3 per cent, while engineers saw a 5.6 per cent pay increase as companies sought to retain skilled workers.

"Businesses know that skills are the key to their recovery," Mr Lowe said.

Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr said the survey results reflected ongoing difficulties in many parts of the economy.

"There's clearly some major adjustment still called for in the economy to get more resources into our export industries."

Companies had set realistic pay increases to keep unemployment down, he said.

"They've had to cut costs in order to preserve the viability of the firm and jobs, and that's a sensible reaction.

"It makes good sense for wage adjustments to be moderate to preserve employment ."

- NZPA

From here.