Salary growth outpaces inflation in new jobs data

Report also reveals that applications surge amid election uncertainty among employers

Salary growth outpaces inflation in new jobs data

Salary growth in New Zealand surpassed the latest inflation figures as all regions and 15 industries posted record-salary growth in the third quarter of 2023, according to Trade Me Jobs data.

Average salary in New Zealand hit $71,820, rising almost $5,500 from the same time last year or an eight per cent annual increase during the third quarter, slightly higher than the six per cent inflation figures from Stats NZ.

"While salaries have been steadily rising for over a year, the national average salary increase has struggled to match inflation - until now," said Matt Tolich, Trade Me Jobs sales director, in a statement. "This will be music to the ears of many Kiwi."

Record growth across regions, industries

According to Trade Me Jobs, every region in New Zealand posted a record average salary in the third quarter, with the average pay rise reaching between nine and 10% in regions with the largest salary growth. They include:

  • Wellington ($76,041)
  • Southland ($70,106)
  • Otago ($70,977)
  • Canterbury ($70,404)
  • Marlborough ($70,039)

"It's no longer only Auckland and Wellington to hold the title as the $70,000 regions. Several regions broke the $70,000 mark for the first time last quarter, including Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Gisborne, Marlborough, Otago, Southland and Taranaki," Tolich said.

Per industry, 15 out of 25 monitored industries posted a record average salary growth in the previous quarter.

According to Tolich, the largest increases by sector were:

  • Healthcare (up to 10% last year to $70,649)
  • Trades and Services (up 9% to $71,283)
  • Manufacturing and Operations (up 9% to $62,859)
  • Education (up 8% to $69,487)

Sectors that also posted record salary growth include:

  • Accounting
  • Automotive
  • Construction & Roading
  • Customer Service
  • Engineering
  • HR & Recruitment
  • Marketing - Media & Communications
  • Office & Administration
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Transport & Logistics

Applications surge as ads dip

With more money on the table, Tolich said it's "no surprise" that more Kiwis are looking for a new role with better pay.

"In the past six months we have seen an 88% spike in total job applications when compared with the same time last year - that's more applications than we have seen since 2018 - proving that many Kiwi are on the job hunt," Tolich said.

The upcoming election, however, is dampening the number of job listings as employers wait how the polls would turn out.

Job ads in New Zealand went down 7.9% in the third quarter of 2023.

"Our customers have told us that they're waiting until they know who will be running the country for the next three years before they make that next hire," Tolich said.

According to the sales director, the dip in job ads is not surprising and is "typical" with almost every general election.

"No matter what the outcome of the general election is, we expect job listings to bounce back in November and into the New Year."

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