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5.1% Increase in Average Retail Wage Rates

5.1% Increase in Average Retail Wage Rates

Retail NZ has published the results of its annual report on wages across the sector and, on average, wages have increased by 5.1 per cent over the last year, from $20.73 to $21.80.

“Our survey suggests that wage increases in the retail sector have outpaced increases in the minimum wage, which increased 3.3 per cent on 1 April 2017 (from $15.25 to $15.75),” said Retail NZ, GM Public Affairs, Greg Harford. "This partly reflects increased demand for skilled staff, and that retailers are increasingly seeking to invest in their people and help them build a career path in the sector.

“We also asked respondents to indicate other ways that they reward their employees and found that 90 per cent of retail employers offered some form of additional benefits, such as discounts, commission or training opportunities.

“The retail sector is very diverse, with a very large range of skilled roles available to build a successful career. Apart from in-store sales, the retail sector offers roles in marketing, e-commerce, logistics, web design and a range of other activities. Altogether, more than 209,000 New Zealanders work in the retail sector - about 10 per cent of all jobs in the New Zealand economy.

"On a regional basis, retail wage rates are highest in Auckland, and there was little wage growth recorded in the South Island. Our report again recorded higher wages across the board for retailers with higher turnover levels. This indicates the challenges smaller retailers are facing in our regional centres, but also reflects the general ability of larger businesses to invest more in all aspects of their operations.


Retail NZ has been producing a Wages Report since 1993. The 2017 survey was conducted in May based on details for the pay period that included Sunday, 30 April 2017. 10,744 employees were included.


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