Income Growth for New Zealand Wage and Salary Earners Remains Robust

In the year leading up to the June 2023 quarter, median weekly and hourly earnings from wages and salaries in New Zealand demonstrated substantial growth, as per data released by Stats NZ today.

Median Weekly Earnings Surge

Median weekly earnings from wages and salaries recorded a remarkable increase of 7.1 percent, amounting to $84, over the course of the year. This impressive growth pushed the median weekly earnings to $1,273. This upswing in earnings marked the second-largest annual rise since the inception of the series in 1998, surpassed only by the previous year’s increment.

Notably, this growth was particularly pronounced for women, with their earnings experiencing an 8.1 percent annual surge. This follows a record-breaking growth witnessed in the previous year, showcasing an encouraging trend towards gender pay equality. Malak Shafik, the labour market manager, highlighted this substantial progress.

Hourly Earnings Follow Suit

Median hourly earnings from wages and salaries showed a robust increase of 6.6 percent, equaling $1.95, resulting in a figure of $31.61 for the June 2023 quarter. This stands as the second-largest annual percentage rise since 1998, trailing closely behind the highest increase recorded in the previous year.

This growth in hourly earnings extended to average ordinary time hourly earnings, as measured by the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), which saw a 6.9 percent rise to reach $39.53 over the year leading to the June 2023 quarter.

Gender Pay Gap and Earnings Increase

The year-on-year median hourly earnings increase for women was 7.7 percent, pushing their earnings to $30.15. This represents the most substantial annual increase in the series. Meanwhile, men’s median hourly earnings grew by 7.0 percent, reaching $33.00, which stands as the second-largest annual increase.

Despite the impressive earnings growth for women, the gender pay gap for the June 2023 quarter remained relatively unchanged at 8.6 percent, based on median hourly earnings. Shafik noted that while women experienced strong growth, there was no statistically significant change in the gender pay gap over the year.

Interestingly, women engaged in full-time wage and salary positions witnessed higher median hourly earnings growth than their part-time counterparts. Median hourly earnings for women in full-time roles grew by 8.8 percent, reaching $32.60. Meanwhile, women working part-time experienced a 4.2 percent annual increase.

Comparatively, men observed nearly equal growth in both full-time and part-time median hourly earnings, experiencing increases of 6.5 and 6.3 percent, respectively. This data underscores the continued efforts towards achieving equitable wage growth across gender and employment types.