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The National Wage and Salary Survey data just out indicates employers have been focusing on retaining their key people, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern).
The survey now in its 18th year assessed pay rates across 215 job positions in 18 industry sectors.
“The average increase in pay for staff already on the payroll was 3% whereas the average increase in pay rates including those recently hired averaged a fraction over 2%,” Mr Lowe said.
“Though the pay rates for unskilled jobs have lagged for years at the bottom of the pay increase list, over the past year they increased the most at 5.6%.
“Pay for skilled and second-tier management roles went up just 1% and 1.4% respectively, with senior management roles rising 3% and finance roles 3.8%.
“This year the variation between pay rate changes has been very pronounced. Pay increases appear now to be more aligned to the fortunes of a particular business than to an industry sector or a particular set of skills,” Mr Lowe said.
“As for last year and 2009, pay for a significant number of job positions fell in 2011, for 47 of the 215 positions compared to just three in 2008.
“Statistically some positions always go down but to have so many positions showing a decrease three years in a row shows many businesses are finding the going tough.
“Pay for IT roles raced away last year but the Survey indicates the pace of change has now slowed, with some even correcting downwards.
“Middle managers are seeing less emphasis go on salary increases and cars, with greater emphasis going on incentives designed to lift their performance.
“KiwiSaver and superannuation are the most popular with middle managers (53%) and skilled employees (51%).
“46% of finance and accounting staff surveyed are in KiwiSaver though it is less popular with senior managers at 36% and unskilled employees at 19.6%.
“Sick leave being taken is at its lowest level, averaging 3.7 days, down from 5.3 days last year. The recent law change requiring medical certificates seems to have created a mood change.
“Employers are by and large forecasting that pay reviews next year will be about the same as this year.”
The National Employers Wage and Salary Survey in its 18th year is conducted by EMA (Northern) on behalf of Employers Chamber of Commerce Central (ECCC), the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC) and the Otago Southland Employers Association. 436 companies provided data on 30,100 employees across 215 different positions in 18 industry sectors.
Detailed results are available to the organizations contributing information to the Survey. Other association members can purchase reports.