1 May 2012

Wage growth slips in March quarter

8:15 pm on 1 May 2012

Unions say new data on wages shows that any recovery there is in the job market is not being spread evenly among workers.

The Council of Trade Unions say some in lower paid occupations are missing out.

Figures issued by Statistics New Zealand on Tuesday show pay rises - for those who got them - hit a two-year high of 3.8% in the year to the end of March.

But CTU economist Bill Rosenberg says many in lower paid jobs are getting less than that.

Wage settlements for some cleaning, security and catering jobs have been 2% or less this year - lower than settlements reached in 2011.

However, settlements in the retail sector have reached 5% for some employers.

Overall, Statistics New Zealand says wage growth slowed to 0.5% in the March quarter, down from 0.6% in the previous three months.

In the private sector, wage and salary rates rose 0.5% compared with a 0.7% increase in the previous three months.

Public sector pay growth was unchanged during the March quarter at 0.4% .

Separately, the Quarterly Employment Survey found seasonally adjusted filled jobs remained flat, while hours worked were down 0.5% during the quarter - the first fall since late 2010.