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Pay increase not filtering through on street

May 4th, 2012 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

PAY RATES have gone up 3.8% in the past year but Wellington city workers spoken to by NewsWire have not noticed a change.

In the year to the March 2012, the mean increase for all surveyed salary and ordinary time wage rates that rose was 3.8%.

This is the highest increase since a 3.9% mean increase in the year to the March 2010 quarter, says Statistics New Zealand labour cost index for salaries and wages.

Len Akuhala, 21, who works at The Body Shop, has not had a pay rise this year.

“Any increase of 3.8 per cent would be good, personally. Then, it also depends on what the government does with another 3.8 per cent. If they tax it.”

Kelvin Wong, 28, who works at Cosmic Cuba St, says he has had a pay increase, but he did not want to share how much.

He described it as “just a bit of extra cash.”

Sarah Blinkhorne, 25, is a manager at Jay Jays and says people should only get a pay rise if they deserve it.

“We get it [a pay rise] based on performance, if we’re not performing we don’t get it.”

Miss Blinkhorne also says it would be good to have a pay rise of 3.8 per cent.

“Would be sweet. Means I’d have to pay more off my student loan, pay more tax, but yeah.”

Kyla Guo, 25, who works at Tempt in Cuba St, agrees and thinks that a 3.8 per cent pay rise would make a difference – if she got one. “I’m on the basic wage.”

Scotty Matthews (29) who works at Whitcoulls Cuba St, says he would be more inclined to continue working for them if there was money for a pay rise this year.

“We got told by the staff manager that there’s no money for pay rises this year, which is why we’re all leaving.”

Statistics New Zealand’s Labour Cost Index (LCI) show salary and wage rates for the private sector increased 2.1% in the year to the March 2012 quarter, while public sector rates rose 1.6%.

“Fifty-seven per cent of surveyed pay rates showed annual rises in the year to the March 2012 quarter – half of these rose by more than 3%,” says Statistics NZ prices manager Chris Pike.

The Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), also released today, showed average hourly earnings for ordinary time rose 3.8% for the March 2012 year, after rising 2.8% for the December 2011 year.

Over the past year fewer paid hours and part-time employees in some industries (particularly education and training) have contributed to the rise in average hourly earnings.

“While gross earnings continue to rise, paid hours and part-time employment have fallen for a few industries,” industry and labour statistics manager Diane Ramsay says.

“Part-time jobs generally have lower average hourly earnings than full-time. This coupled with the fall in part-time employment has contributed to average hourly earnings rising faster than wage inflation, as measured by the LCI.”

The LCI tracks nearly 6000 jobs and reflects changes in the rates that employers pay to have the same job done to the same standard. Rises to match the market, retain staff, or reflect the cost of living are shown in the LCI, while rises reflecting individual performance or years of service are filtered out.

The survey conducted by LCI came to the conclusion that the overall wage and salary  increase was 2% whereas the QES says the increase was 3.8%.

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