Tuesday, April 23, 2024

More Kiwis in jobs as wages outpace inflation

New Zealanders are in paid work in record numbers and wages are outpacing inflation, latest figures from Stats NZ have revealed today.

Finance Minister, Grant Robertson said the positive result showed that the Government’s economic plan was continuing to deliver more jobs and growing wages to help with cost-of-living pressures.

“We continue to be in a position of strength to face the challenges ahead, with the economy adding 22,000 jobs in the first three months of the year and average hourly wage wages rising 7.6% to $38.93, ahead of inflation at 6.7%,” Minister Robertson said.

Stats NZ also reported that unemployment was unchanged at 3.4% for the March quarter.

“We’ve created 281,000 jobs since 2017, the unemployment rate is near record lows and wages are growing. This is the best response to New Zealanders dealing with cost of living pressures,” the Minister said.

“The Government’s economic plan is working to ensure New Zealanders get ahead, by delivering more better-paying high quality jobs, growing wages and more opportunities. Kiwis are also getting some relief with inflation now moderating, though it remains too high. We are doing our bit to restrain spending and responsibly manage our finances.”

Mr Robertson said the Government was continuing to work hard to lower costs for Kiwis while also strengthening the economy with investments in skills, infrastructure and innovation.

“We are investing in building the productive capacity of the economy. Apprenticeships are more than 50% higher than when we took office. Total spending on research and development hit record levels last year. Infrastructure spending will top $60 billion over the next five years, even before the cyclone is taken into account,” he said.

On comparable measures, New Zealand’s 3.4% unemployment rate stands favourably against 3.6% in Australia, 3.5% in the US, 3.8% in the UK, and 5% in Canada. The OECD average is 4.8%.

“We know there is more to do. We will continue to invest heavily in skills and training for New Zealanders. Our immigration settings are attracting a significant number of overseas workers and we will continue to look at ways to respond to help fill vacancies in what is a competitive global market for workers,” Minister Robertson said.

“Our focus will continue to be on keeping on moving the economy in the right direction. We recognise that unemployment is likely to move around in what is a challenging global environment. We will continue investing in creating the conditions to support people into work and drive higher wages for New Zealanders and build a stronger, inclusive and more resilient economy.”

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