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Annual Earnings Hold Strong

Embargoed until 10:45am – 6 November 2006

Annual Earnings Hold Strong

Salary and wage rates (including overtime), as measured by the Labour Cost Index (LCI), increased 3.2 percent for the year to the September 2006 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Earnings growth was also strong in the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), where average total hourly earnings rose 5.1 percent (to $22.24) in the September 2006 year.

In the LCI, salary and wage rates (including overtime) for health and community services increased 5.1 percent for the year to the September 2006 quarter, and 2.5 percent for the September 2006 quarter. These are the largest annual and quarterly increases for this industry group since the series began in the June 2001 quarter. The main reason for the quarterly increase was collective employment agreements coming into effect for nursing professionals.

Overtime wage rates increased 3.2 percent for the year to the September 2006 quarter, the largest annual increase since a 3.4 percent increase in the year to the December 2004 quarter. For the September 2006 quarter, overtime wage rates increased 1.3 percent, the largest quarterly increase since the series began in the December 1992 quarter.

QES results for the year to September 2006 show that the rate of employment growth has eased.

Employment, as measured by full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), increased 2.0 percent. This follows increases of 4.0 percent and 4.6 percent for the September 2005 and September 2004 years, respectively.

Geoff Bascand
Acting Government Statistician

ENDS

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