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Rise in Average Income

The New Zealand Income Survey shows that average weekly income rose by 3.8 per cent, from $425 to $441 between the June 1998 and June 1999 quarters. Average weekly income increased more for females (6.1 per cent) than for males (2.8 per cent).

The increase in female income reflects both an increase in the number of females in paid employment and an increase in the average weekly income for females in paid employment. While average weekly income increased for those in paid employment (by 3.5 per cent), there was little change for those not in paid employment.

In the June 1999 quarter female average weekly full-time wage and salary income as a proportion of males was 79 per cent. On an hourly basis the proportion was 86 per cent. Male full-time wage and salary earners worked an average of 44.6 hours per week in the June 1999 quarter while female full-time wage and salary earners worked an average of 40.7 hours per week. The difference between the two proportions is due to the greater number of hours worked per week by males.

Wages and salaries were the largest source of personal income. Of those aged 15 years and over, 48 per cent received income from this source. An estimated 33 per cent of the population aged 15 years and over received income from government transfers while 13 per cent received no income. The proportion of those aged 15 years and over receiving income from self-employment and other transfers was 13 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

The number of people receiving income from paid employment (wages and salaries or self-employment) increased by 2.4 per cent from 1,681,100 in the June 1998 quarter to 1,722,200 in the June 1999 quarter. This was driven by an increase in the number of people receiving self-employment income. The number of people receiving income from this source increased by 13.2 per cent between the June 1998 and June 1999 quarters.

In the June 1999 quarter average weekly income was $467 for European/Pakeha, $351 for Mäori, $322 for Pacific Islands and $342 for the 'Other' ethnic group. The European/Pakeha ethnic group was the only ethnic group to have a significant increase in average weekly income since the June 1998 quarter.

In the June 1999 quarter average weekly income for all people aged 15 years and over was highest in the Wellington region at $523. The next highest regions were Auckland at $482 and Canterbury at $431. Average weekly income was lowest in the Manawatu-Wanganui region at $357 followed by Northland at $378.

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