Labour costs rise by 2.6%

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Newly released figures from Statistics New Zealand show that labour costs rose 2.6% in the year to June 2012, with the non-wage component rising 5.9%.

The non-wage increase was largely due to rising superannuation costs, an additional 2 days of public holidays, and higher annual leave, Geoff Bascand from Statistics New Zealand said. “The salary and wage rates (including overtime) component increased 2.0%”.

Annual leave and statutory holiday costs increased 8.4% in the year to June, he said. “In 2011 there were nine statutory holidays; in 2012 there were 11. This change increased employers' holiday costs, as did a 2.0% increase in pay rates.”

Employers' superannuation costs per employee rose 4.1% in the year to June, Bascand continued. “This increase reflects continued growth in employer-subsidised KiwiSaver membership and higher pay rates, partly offset by falls in membership in other employer-subsidised superannuation schemes.”

The Statistics New Zealand figures also showed that, in the year to June:


  • Workplace accident insurance costs were down 6.7%. This resulted from decreases in ACC levy rates, which were partly offset by the 2.0% increase in pay rates.
  • Other non-wage labour costs – which include expenditure on medical insurance, motor vehicles for private use and low-interest loans – decreased by 1.1%.


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