Unemployment rate steady, wages up 6.4% - Stats NZ

Wages are soaring, with the highest growth in hourly wages since 1993.

File image of people working

Average hourly earnings have increased by 6.4%, Stats NZ said today. People working in manufacturing are the big winners, with average wage growth up 8.2% to over $35. Health care and social assistance was up 6.7%.

Despite labour shortages continuing to plague the country, the unemployment rate is up slightly, moving from 3.2% to 3.3% in the last quarter. The unemployment rate for men was 3.5% in June, up slightly from the previous quarter. The rate for men is stable at 3.1%, equal to the lowest rate on record. Maori have also seen a drop, to 5.5%, down from 7.8%.

But for all wages and salaries, the annual increase was 3.4% - the highest since 2008.

Stats NZ doesn’t measure changes in pay rate for those who move between roles.

But while pay rises are good news for workers, the inflation rate currently sits at a 32-year high of 7.3%.

And in another sign of the impact of the pandemic, the number of people away from work for a full week due to sickness, illness or injury has nearly doubled, up to 55,000.

READ MORE: Opinion: Low unemployment a chance to reset job market