Pay, working time rise for New Zealand employees

10:12, August 02, 2011      

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The year-on-year rise in salaries and wages for New Zealand workers leveled off in the quarter to the end of June, but hours worked increased on average, the government statistics agency reported Tuesday.

Salary and wage rates rose by 1.9 percent in the year to the June quarter -- the same as the year to the March quarter -- while the total paid hours increased by 1.6 percent, said a report from Statistics New Zealand.

With a rise of 0.4 percent in the June quarter, the latest cost of labor increase still put the year-on-year rise ahead of the 1.7- percent increase in the December 2010 quarter and the post- recession low of 1.5 percent in the year to the March 2010 quarter.

Private sector salaries and wages rose by 2 percent in the year to the June quarter, after a 2-percent increase in the year to March, while public sector rates rose 1.5 percent, following a 1.4- percent rise in the year to the March quarter.

The agency's Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) showed the number of full-time equivalent employees remained flat at 1.33 million, while total paid hours increased 1.6 percent, with average total hourly earnings up 3.1 percent, compared with a rise of 2.6 percent in the year to March.

An estimated 155,000 New Zealanders were unemployed at the end of March, down by 2,000 from the end of December, putting the jobless rate at 6.6 percent.

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