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Annual Earnings Growth Strong

Embargoed until 10:45am – 7 August 2006

Annual Earnings Growth Strong

Salary and wage rates (including overtime), as measured by the Labour Cost Index (LCI), increased 3.2 percent for the year to the June 2006 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Earnings growth was also strong in the the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), where average total hourly earnings rose 4.4 percent (to $21.90) in the June 2006 year.

In the LCI, public sector salary and wage rates (including overtime) increased 4.1 percent in the year to the June 2006 quarter, the largest annual increase for the public sector since the LCI began in the December 1992 quarter. This latest increase was driven by rises in the education industry.

For the year to the June 2006 quarter, education salary and wage rates (including overtime) rose 5.1 percent, the largest increase since the series began in the June 2001 quarter. Education salary and wage rates (including overtime) rose 1.3 percent for the June 2006 quarter. The main reason for the quarterly increase was collective employment agreements coming into effect.

In the year to the June 2006 quarter the median increase recorded for all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates was 4.2 percent. This is the highest annual median increase since the LCI began in the December 1992 quarter.

QES results for the year to June 2006 showed continued demand for labour. Employment, as measured by full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), increased 4.0 percent, driven by full-time employment. The data continue to show stronger annual growth in full-time employment than in part-time employment, following stronger part-time growth before 2001.

Brian Pink Government Statistician


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