11 Aug 2015

Average salaries nudge $75k... for some

1:38 pm on 11 August 2015

The average New Zealand salary advertised on the online job site Seek has increased modestly and sits at $74,965 according to the latest data from the company.

A builder cutting polystyrene used for insulation and foundation footings on a new home in Upper Hutt.

Construction is among the highest paid industries according to job ad company data Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Seek's data showed that in the year to June the average annual salary rose by $1674, or $94 per month after tax, over the previous 12-month period.

Seek said the increase of 2.3 percent came in spite of slowing economic conditions and a drop in business confidence.

The general manager of Seek's New Zealand arm, Janet Faulding, said that the figure reflected the white collar jobs it advertises which is typically higher paying.

"It's in line with actually the New Zealand economy. I think the market's subdued at the moment so wages aren't out of kilter particularly on our site with what the rest of the market is seeing."

However, the Council of Trade Unions pointed out the company's data was not representative of typical salaries paid across the entire workforce.

Annual average salaries by region; data from advertised salaries on Seek.

Annual average salaries, by region, as advertised on Seek. Graphic: Seek

According to the data, people in the Wellington region command the largest salary package at almost $6000 above the national average.

The average salary in the capital rose 1.9 percent to $80,934.

Auckland was second in the top five highest-paid regions with the average salary growing 2.3 percent to $76,338.

Canterbury came in third, growing 2.6 percent to $72,512.

The fourth on the list was Taranaki, though the data showed the average salary there had actually dropped 8.5 percent to $72,376.

While Bay of Plenty did not feature on the top five list, Seek said the region experienced the biggest increase of almost 7 percent taking the annual salary advertised on the website to $68,625.

The company said the growth in salaries was being driven by a number of industries.

The top five industries ranked by average  annualised salaries advertised on Seek.

The top five industries ranked by average annualised salaries advertised on Seek. Graphic: Seek

Consulting and strategy was the highest paid industry, which may account for Wellington being the region commanding the highest average salary. The salary for this sector grew 2 percent in the year to $99,046.

Engineering was next at $92,479, growing 2 percent; construction was third at $92,479 also growing 2 percent; while the average yearly salary grew 1 percent to $92,082.

In fifth place was the mining, resources and energy sector, where salaries dropped 8 percent to $91,506.

Salaries not typical of workforce

However, CTU economist Bill Rosenberg said jobs advertised on Seek were high paying and not typical of the workforce, as illustrated by offical job figures released last week.

"Statistics New Zealand shows the average wage annualised would be approximately $49,000 - [Seek's data] is considerably above what the accepted general survey shows.

"Even the average wage or salary is a bit misleading in itself because it tends to [be] biased upwards by the very high salaries that some people get."

According to Statistic New Zealand's labour market statistics showed the average average ordinary time hourly earnings was $29.01 for the June quarter, up 0.8 percent on the previous quarter.

Dr Rosenberg said the latest census data showed pay in the regions was considerably lower than in the main centres of Auckland and Wellington and in Canterbury, which made up the top three paying regions respectively of Seek's data.

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