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Labour Costs Rise

Labour Cost Index (All Labour Costs): June 2005 quarter

4 October 2005

Labour Costs Rise

Labour costs rose 2.7 percent from the June 2004 quarter to the June 2005 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. This increase follows a 1.8 percent increase in the year to the June 2004 quarter. The salary and wage rates (including overtime) component of the Labour Cost Index rose 2.7 percent, while the non-wage labour costs component rose 2.8 percent.

The rise in non-wage labour costs was partly driven by a 2.9 percent increase in annual leave and statutory holiday costs. These costs increased 2.8 percent for the private sector, and 3.2 percent for the public sector.

The index for other non-wage labour costs (medical insurance, motor vehicles available for private use, and employer-related low interest loans) fell 3.3 percent in the year to the June 2005 quarter. The cost of providing motor vehicles for private use, and medical insurance fell, while the cost of providing employer-related low interest loans rose.

Employer superannuation costs rose 5.2 percent between the June 2004 and June 2005 quarters. Within this, superannuation costs for the public sector rose 10.6 percent, partly as a result of the introduction of the

State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme (SSRSS) and greater membership by teachers of retirement savings' schemes. In the June 2005 quarter, workplace accident insurance costs rose 7.2 percent, reflecting increases in both pay rates and ACC levy rates.

This release contains provisional data. Statistics New Zealand is currently implementing an improvement in the quality of the indexes, which will result in revisions to some of the series for non-wage and all labour costs. Wage indexes will not be affected. Final data will be released on 6 December 2005.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

ENDS

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