Modest salary increases over past year

JASON KRUPP
Last updated 13:45 21/11/2012

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A new survey has confirmed what many Kiwi workers already know - salaries increased by a very modest margin over the last 12 months.

In a poll of 190 employers, consulting firm Mercer's latest Total Remuneration Survey has found salaries rose by an average of 3.2 per cent

Even then it was a sporadic affair, with the days of "guaranteed" increases a thing of the past.

"Employees should not expect pay rises of 5 per cent or more, as seen before the recession. In fact 48 per cent of organisations are giving staff less than a 3 per cent pay rise and have no plans to change this," said Sarah Barnaby, senior associate in Mercer's talent business.

The survey found the headline 3.2 per cent figure masked a high level of variability in pay hikes, both on a vocational and geographical basis.

Barnaby said employers were willing to pay significantly more for talent such as project engineering roles which commanded a 9 per cent increase in 2012, up from 3 per cent a year ago.

That's due to the Christchurch rebuild getting underway, with Mercer's figures showing average packages in the city rose by 5.8 per cent in 2012, up from 2 per cent a year ago with high levels of demand for construction-related skills.

"Christchurch residents working on the rebuild are in a prime position to continue receiving significant remuneration packages in light of their vital skill set," Barnaby said.

Administrative and front line customer service roles received 5.1 per cent pay rises, up from 3.5 per cent in 2011. Senior managers, however, found their gross pay rise more modestly than a year ago, up 1.9 per cent versus 2.5 per cent previously.

Christchurch deposed Auckland as the region with the highest pay increase, with the country's most populous city seeing the average pay packet increase by 3 per cent, down from 3.8 per cent a year ago.

Pay movements in Wellington were the lowest in the country, sitting at just 2.8 per cent whilst regional areas are slightly above the national median at 3.5 per cent.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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