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Joyce wrong again; wages falling behind costs under National

11 February 2014

Joyce wrong again; wages falling behind costs under National

National has been caught out getting their numbers wrong again, as they try to hide the decline in real wages on their watch, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today.

Last week, Steven Joyce accused Dr Norman of “making stuff up” following a press release in which Dr Norman pointed out that wages and salaries have risen by less than inflation under National according to Statistics New Zealand’s Labour Cost Index. Mr Joyce claimed that the “best source of wage movements is the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES)”. However, Statistics New Zealand says “if you are interested in changes in earnings across time, the Labour Cost Index (LCI) is a better measure than the QES”.

“Steven Joyce and National have got it wrong again. New Zealanders’ wages aren’t keeping up with inflation,” said Dr Norman.

“Mr Joyce is deliberately attempting to pull a con on Kiwis by saying the average wage of Kiwis in work has gone up, but he ignores the fact that the average has been pulled up by low-wage workers losing their jobs.

“Statistics New Zealand is clear on the matter: if you want to know what’s happening to wages and salaries over time, look at the Labour Cost Index.

“The Labour Cost Index shows that wages and salaries have risen by 9.3 percent under National whereas inflation has risen by 10.5 percent. Pay packets have gotten smaller in real terms.

“Ordinary New Zealanders aren’t taken in by Mr Joyce’s spin; they know times are tough and wages aren’t keeping up with costs.

“National and Mr Joyce need to stop playing number games and get on with fixing the decline in New Zealanders’ earnings. If they won’t, the Greens will,” said Dr Norman.

Additional information:
Statistics New Zealand, User guide for Statistics New Zealand’s wage and income measures

ENDS

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