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Wellington Businesses Face Greatest Wage Pressures

Wellington Businesses Face Greatest Wage Pressures

Today's labour market data shows continued pressure on wages for Wellington businesses according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"The Quarterly Employment Survey and Labour Cost Index for the September quarter showed record wage growth. But while average hourly earnings across New Zealand increased 5.5% over the year, the QES put Wellington wage growth at an even more substantial 7.2%. The second highest region was Canterbury with a 5.7% increase," said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

"The Wellington region has the highest incomes in the country partly due to its high concentration of public sector employees. Average hourly earnings are $27.43 in Wellington, compared with $25.50 in Auckland and $24.37 in New Zealand over all.

"The QES data also shows that public sector hourly wages (a broad, nation-wide measure of public employees) were higher than the private sector, $30.83 compared with $22.69. The annual increases were 6.4% and 5.1% respectively.

"Because the data includes compositional changes across the workforce, there may be other factors at play but anecdotal evidence from Wellington businesses is that public sector wages have been driving up private sector wages over recent years.

"Competition for employees from the public sector is an ongoing issue for Wellington-based businesses. Not only are employees hard to find, but businesses are having to pay more to match high paying government departments," Mr Finny concluded.


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