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Largest Annual Increase for Labour Cost Index

Largest Annual Increase for Labour Cost Index

In the year to June 2005, the Labour Cost Index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime) rose 2.7 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand. This is the largest annual increase since the series began in the December 1993 quarter. Annual growth in salary and wage rates was also reflected in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), where average total hourly earnings rose 3.5 percent.

In the June 2005 quarter, salary and wage rates (including overtime) rose 0.7 percent, according to the LCI.

In the LCI, public sector salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 0.8 percent in the June 2005 quarter. This compares with a 0.4 percent increase in the March 2005 quarter.

Annually, public sector salary and wage rates rose 2.9 percent. Health professionals' salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 3.1 percent in the June 2005 quarter, the largest quarterly increase since the series began in the March 1993 quarter.

This latest increase reflects the settlement of collective employment agreements. On an annual basis, health professionals' salary and wage rates increased 5.7 percent. In the QES, average total hourly earnings increased 2.0 percent (to $20.98) in the June 2005 quarter, as a result of a 1.2 percent decrease in total paid hours. Total earnings, and the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) remained relatively unchanged for the quarter. The QES average earnings statistics reflect not only changes in pay rates, but also compositional and other changes in the paid workforce. By comparison, the LCI measures changes in salary and wage rates for a fixed quantity and quality of labour input.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

END

There are two companion Hot Off The Press information releases published – Labour Cost Index (Salary and Wage Rates): June 2005 quarter and Quarterly Employment Survey: June 2005 quarter.

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