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Quarterly Employment Survey: June 2012 quarter
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  07 August 2012
Commentary

All employment figures in this release are unadjusted unless otherwise stated.

Number of jobs rise

All employment figures in this section are seasonally adjusted.

Businesses continued to add more jobs over the June 2012 quarter. The number of filled jobs rose 0.7 percent from the previous quarter and the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) rose 1.1 percent. A strong rise in full-time employment (up 1.5 percent) offset a fall part-time employment (down 0.5 percent). This caused the number of FTEs to rise more than the number of filled jobs.

Employment continued to rise over the June 2012 year. The number of filled jobs rose 1.9 percent and the number of FTEs rose 2.0 percent during this period. Over half the annual rise in unadjusted filled jobs came from three industries: accommodation and food services (up 5.7 percent), construction (up 5.4 percent), and transport, postal, and warehousing (up 7.0 percent).

Graph, Employment, annual change, June 2002 quarter to June 2012 quarter.

QES and LCI salary and ordinary time wage rates rise

Annual percentage changes in salary and ordinary time wage rates vary between the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) and labour cost index (LCI) measures.

QES average ordinary time hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent for the June 2012 year. The two industries that made the biggest contribution to this rise were: professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services; and manufacturing.

LCI salary and ordinary wage rates rose 2.0 percent over the same period, and LCI analytical unadjusted series rose 3.4 percent.

Salary and ordinary time wage rates are not seasonally adjusted in the QES or LCI.

Graph, Annual percentage change in salary and ordinary time wage rates, June 2007 quarter to June 2012 quarter.

QES average earnings statistics are often compared with LCI salary and ordinary time wage rates. However, QES average earnings statistics reflect not only changes in salary and wage rates, but also compositional changes between and within businesses in surveyed industries. In comparison, the LCI measures changes in salary and wage rates for a fixed quantity (eg number of hours worked per week) and quality (eg experience and qualification) of labour input. The LCI analytical unadjusted series fixes the quantity of labour, but reflects quality change within the occupations in addition to price change.

See the Data quality section for more information.

Average earnings grow over the year

Average ordinary time hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent (75 cents) over the June 2012 year, reaching almost $27.

All industries contributed to the overall rise, but the biggest contributors were professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services (up 3.2 percent), and manufacturing (up 3.1 percent).

The rise in average ordinary time hourly earnings was similar between the public sector (up 3.1 percent) and private sector (up 2.9 percent).

Average ordinary time weekly earnings (by FTE) rose 3.0 percent over the year (about $30 a week). Again, the major contributors to this rise were professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services; retail trade; and manufacturing. Rises in earnings in these industries made up a third of the overall rise.

Little change in average earnings over the quarter

Average ordinary time hourly earnings remained relatively unchanged over the quarter (up 0.1 percent). Positive contributions to average earnings in construction, as well as in accommodation and food services, were counteracted by falls in professional, scientific, technical, administrative, and support services; and education and training.

Hours rebound in June

Seasonally adjusted total weekly paid hours rose 2.1 percent for the June 2012 quarter, the largest quarterly rise since June 1997. This follows a fall of 0.5 percent for the March 2012 quarter

For the June 2012 year, seasonally adjusted total weekly paid hours rose 2.3 percent. The two industries with the biggest unadjusted rise in total weekly paid hours were retail trade (up 5.7 percent) and construction (up 6.8 percent).

Canterbury shows signs of employment growth

In Canterbury, the number of filled jobs rose 0.5 percent in the year ending June 2012, the first annual rise since September 2010. Full-time employment rose 2.7 percent, while part-time employment fell 2.0 percent.

The retail, construction, and wholesale trade industries had the largest annual rise in filled jobs in Canterbury over the year, while the manufacturing industry had the largest annual fall.

In the rest of New Zealand (excluding Canterbury) filled jobs rose 2.1 percent over the same period. Full-time employment rose 2.6 percent and part-time employment fell 0.4 percent.

Graph, Annual change in Canterbury and non-Canterbury filled jobs, June 2002 quarter to June 2012 quarter.

Related measures

The prices of goods and services bought by households, as measured by the consumers price index (CPI) (see Consumers Price Index: June 2012 quarter), increased 1.0 percent in the year to the June 2012 quarter. The QES average hourly earnings for ordinary time (ie excluding overtime) increased 2.9 percent over the same period.

GST rose from 12.5 percent to 15 percent on 1 October 2010. This affected annual CPI movements from the December 2010 quarter to the September 2011 quarter. The graph below shows what the annual CPI percentage increases would be if prices collected from the December 2010 quarter to the September 2011 quarter were processed with GST of 12.5 percent for goods and services that are subject to GST. The latest CPI annual increase of 1.0 percent does not include most of the effects of the GST increase.

Graph, Annual percentage change in CPI and QES, June 2007 quarter to June 2012 quarter.

Personal income tax rates decreased at the same time as the GST rate rose. However, since the QES measures changes in gross average hourly and weekly earnings, it did not directly reflect the reductions in income tax rates.

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

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