Workers get biggest pay rise in more than 20 years, Stats NZ says

Women's income increased faster over the year.,

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Women’s income increased faster over the year.,

Workers have experienced their biggest annual pay increase since records began.

Median weekly earnings from salaries and wages increased 8.8% in the year to the June quarter.

It was the biggest annual increase since the Stats NZ series began in 1998.

Women’s median weekly earnings increased by 9.9%, to $ 1055 a week. Men’s earnings lifted by 5.9% to a median $ 1320 a week.

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“The large increase in median weekly earnings for women this year coincided with more women working full-time and fewer in part-time employment,” labor market manager Malak Shafik said.

Over the year to the June 2022 quarter, the number of full-time wage and salary earners increased by 102,300, or 5.9%, while the number of part-time earners decreased by 38,200 or a drop of 7.9%.

The increase in full-time workers was made up of both women and men but the drop in part-time workers was primarily due to women.

Brad Olsen

Wages rose as unemployment also ticked up slightly in the June quarter, data from Stats NZ shows.

“Weekly earnings come from two factors – how much someone is earning per hour, and how many hours they work. Over the year, hourly earnings for men and women rose similarly, but there was a bigger shift in the proportion of women working full-time that meant their weekly earnings rose more sharply, ”Shafik said.

Inflation has been running hot over the past year, reaching an annual rate of 7.3% in the June quarter. A low unemployment rate has kept pressure on employers and allowed some employees to negotiate pay rises to compensate for the higher cost of living.

Median hourly earnings from wages and salaries rose by 6.8% to $ 29.66 per hour in the year. This was also the biggest increase since the series began.

For women, median hourly earnings from wages and salaries increased 6.2% to $ 28, while median hourly earnings from wages and salaries for men rose 6.4% to $ 30.85.

This puts the gender pay gap for the June quarter at 9.2%.

“The gender pay gap is based on median hourly earnings, so it’s not affected by women working more hours,” Shafik said.

“Similar increases in median hourly earnings for both men and women meant that the gender pay gap remained relatively unchanged over the year.”

Stats NZ data shows the strong employment market has not benefited all workers.

Disabled people still have an unemployment rate of 7.9% for those aged 15 to 64, compared to 3.3% for non-disabled.