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Pay rises average 3.6%

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Pay rises average 3.6%; skilled trades; skilled trades, vocations exceed managers


Electronics technicians, nurses and skilled retail sales staff made the biggest gains in the pay stakes over the past year, according to the National Wage & Salary Survey.

The technicians saw their average pay packets balloon a whopping 36.8 per cent; the nurses by 19 per cent, and shop sales staff by 13 per cent.

"But across all 35,165 job positions in the survey, the average increase was 3.6 per cent," said David Lowe, Manager of Employment Services for the Employers & Manufacturers Association.

"The figures show employers are responding to today's tight labour conditions by raising the pay packets of their staff as the market requires.

"The increases show the labour market is working and the wide variability of the increases between job types demonstrate how well it is working.

"Most common pay increases fell between 3 to 4 per cent - a third of them fell within this range; 13 per cent received a pay rise between 2 and 3 per cent, with 18 per cent getting a pay rise between 4 and 5 per cent.

"What stands out again this year is the pay increases for trades and vocational skills were bigger than those of their immediate bosses.

"The pay of senior managers and non-management rose an average of 3.7 per cent while the remuneration of middle managers went up just 3.3 per cent.

"The trend means the pay packets of skilled staff are rising faster than their managers.

"Others to get big pay increases this year include computer analyst programmers, up 8.3 per cent; maintenance fitters, up 7.9 per cent; sales reps, up 7.3 per cent; receptionists, up 7.1 per cent; and petrol motor mechanics, up 7 per cent.

"The biggest increases amongst senior managers went to those in the finance and insurance sector, up nearly 10%.

"The figures in one year should not be taken as the whole story," Mr Lowe warned.

"The huge increase for the technicians represents a correction from very small increases last year and the year before, and the same applies to the nurses.

"The principle applies in reverse to skills such as toolmakers whose pay went down by 0.9 per cent this year; in 2003 it had jumped by over 20 per cent.

"To get a more accurate picture of how the pay rates of particular work positions are changing we have to measure their three year rolling average increases and once this is done the pay rise for electronics technicians for example, over the past three years went up by only 0.2 per cent," Mr Lowe said.

This is the 12th year of the national survey, which is the longest established and most comprehensive measure of remuneration trends. 668 organisations participated, providing job remuneration data on 35,165 employees positions in 213 job types in 19 sectors of the economy. The benchmark date for the survey was July 29th.

The survey is run by EMA Northern in conjunction with EMA Central, Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce and the Otago-Southland Employers Association.

"The Survey also looked at trends in other areas of remuneration, such as redundancy formulae, superannuation, insurance, motor vehicles, leave and bonus schemes.

"Over half the employers surveyed said they operated flexible hours of work for employees."


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