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Quarterly Employment Survey: June 2011 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  02 August 2011
Commentary

Overview

Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) results for the June 2011 year show steady employment, while paid hours and average earnings continue to grow.

In the June 2011 year, the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) remained stable, while total paid hours increased 1.6 percent. This is the fifth consecutive annual increase in total paid hours. Average total weekly paid hours (FTEs) increased 1.2 percent for the same period.

In the June 2011 year, average total weekly earnings (FTEs) rose 4.3 percent, which is the largest increase in two years. Average total hourly earnings increased 3.1 percent for the same period, reaching $26.27.

QES total gross earnings statistics may include performance bonus payments, incremental increases, commissions earned in the pay period etc. QES average earnings statistics do not fix the quantity or quality of labour input, and can be influenced by changes in employment, paid hours, and gross earnings within industries. In comparison, the labour cost index (LCI) measures changes in salary and wage rates for a fixed quantity and quality of labour input.

In the year to June 2011, salary and wage rates (including overtime), as measured by the LCI, increased 1.9 percent.

Employment

The demand for employment at the national level remained stable over the last year. For the June 2011 year, growth in the number of FTEs in the wholesale trade industry was offset by losses in the accommodation and food services industry. The number of wholesale trade FTEs increased 6.9 percent for the same period, the largest increase since a 7.1 percent increase in the December 2007 year. The number of FTEs in the accommodation and food services industry decreased 9.5 percent, which is the largest annual decrease for the industry since the time series began in March 1989.

 Graph, Annual percentage change in full-time equivalent employees, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.

The relative size of two of New Zealand’s largest industries has changed over the last 10 years. The proportion of total FTEs in the manufacturing industry dropped 4.3 percentage points, from 17.4 percent in June 2001 to 13.1 percent in June 2011. Conversely, the proportion of total FTEs in the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services industry rose 3.4 percentage points, from 10.1 percent in June 2001 to 13.5 percent in June 2011.

Graph, Proportion of total FTEs, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.  

Canterbury regional council area

The June 2011 quarter was the first in which the QES estimates were affected by the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The QES reference period for the June 2011 quarter was the week ending on or before the 20th of May, some three months after the earthquake occurred.

The QES provides estimates for the Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury, and rest of New Zealand regional council areas. The Canterbury regional council area represents approximately 14 percent of total FTEs.

In the June 2011 quarter, Canterbury regional council area FTEs decreased 4.5 percent. This is the area’s largest loss of FTEs since the QES began regional estimates in September 1999, and the largest quarterly decline by any region in the time series. The movement in FTEs in the Auckland and Wellington regional council areas remained stable, while the number of FTEs in the rest of New Zealand region increased 2.0 percent.

 Graph, Quarterly percentage change in FTEs, by regional council area, June 2011 quarter.

Please refer to the technical notes for response rates and information on the reliability of survey results.

Paid hours

New Zealand employers are demanding more of the labour market in the form of paid hours. For the June 2011 year, total paid hours increased 1.6 percent, which is the fifth consecutive yearly increase.

 Graph, Annual percentage change in total paid hours, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.

Seasonally adjusted total paid hours increased 0.7 percent for the June 2011 quarter.

 Graph, Seasonally adjusted total paid hours, percentage change from previous quarter.

Seasonally adjusted average total weekly paid hours (FTEs) increased 0.4 percent for the June 2011 quarter.

 Graph, Seasonally adjusted average total weekly paid hours (FTEs), percentage change from previous quarter.

Earnings

New Zealand employees are earning more per week on average than the same time last year. For the June 2011 year, average total weekly earnings (FTEs) increased 4.3 percent to $1006.88.

The change in average total weekly earnings (FTEs) can be influenced by two main effects:

  • changes in average total weekly earnings (FTEs) within industries
  • changes in the proportion of FTEs between industries – for example, if an industry’s proportion of FTEs grows in a particular period, relative to other industries, it will have a greater influence on the change in the overall average total weekly earnings (FTEs).

The rise for the June 2011 year was mainly due to the increase in average total weekly earnings (FTEs) within industries. Over the last year, the largest influence on the national movement was the increase in average total weekly earnings (FTEs) within the professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services industry.

Graph, Annual percentage change in average total weekly earning (FTEs), June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.  

Male and female employees are earning more per week on average than they were in June 2010. Average total weekly earnings (FTEs) for males increased 4.2 percent for the June 2011 year, to reach $1107.98. For females, average total weekly earnings (FTEs) grew to $897.00, an annual increase of 4.4 percent.

 Graph, Annual percentage change in average total weekly earnings (FTEs), by sex, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.

Average total hourly earnings increased 3.1 percent (to $26.27) for the June 2011 year, which is the largest increase for almost two years. This rise was mainly due to the manufacturing industry, which increased average total hourly earnings by 3.6 percent.

 Graph, Annual percentage change in average total hourly earnings, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.

Both private and public sector average total hourly earnings have increased since June 2010. Average total hourly earnings increased 3.2 percent in the private sector for the June 2011 year, compared with a 2.1 percent increase in the public sector for the same period.

 Graph, Annual percentage change in average total hourly earnings, by sector, June 2001 quarter to June 2011 quarter.

For technical information please contact:
Kyle Uerata or Will Cornelius
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Next release ...

Quarterly Employment Survey: September 2011 quarter is due to be released on 1 November 2011.

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