Median weekly, hourly wage increases outstripping inflation - Stats NZ

Median wage and salary increases are now outstripping inflation, after the consumer price index increases dominated the country.

The latest data from Stats NZ showed the median weekly and hourly earnings from wages and salaries increased by 7.1 and 6.6 percent respectively, in the year to the June 2023 quarter. Comparatively, New Zealand's inflation rate as of the June 2023 quarter is 6 percent.

Median weekly earnings grew 7.1 percent ($84) over the year to reach $1273. This is the second-largest annual rise since the series began in 1998, surpassed only by the previous year's annual increase.

For median hourly earnings, this was up 6.6 percent ($1.95) to $31.61. This was the second-largest annual percentage increase in median hourly earnings since the series began in 1998, following the largest increase in the previous year.

Stats NZ labour market manager Malak Shafik said the median weekly earnings for women continued to grow, rising 8.1 percent annually. 

In terms of median hourly earnings for women, these were up 7.7 percent over the year to reach $30.15. This was the largest annual increase in the series. Men's median hourly earnings were up 7 percent to reach $33, which is the second-largest annual increase in the series.

This puts the gender pay gap for the June 2023 quarter at 8.6 percent, which is based on median hourly earnings, Stats NZ said.

"Although women saw historically strong growth in median hourly earnings, there was no statistically significant change in the gender pay gap over the year, meaning that it remained relatively unchanged since the June 2022 quarter," Shafik said.

"Women working in full-time wage and salary jobs saw higher median hourly earnings growth than those working part-time."

Median hourly earnings for women in full-time wage and salary jobs were up 8.8 percent over the year, to reach $32.60, while hourly earnings for women working part-time increased 4.2 percent annually.

Comparatively, men saw roughly equal growth in both full-time and part-time median hourly earnings, up 6.5 and 6.3 percent respectively.