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New Zealand Income Survey: June 2008 quarter - Revised
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  09 October 2008
Commentary

Changes to tables

A number of changes have been made to the tables in this release as follows:

Hot Off The Press table changes

  • 'Median weekly earnings for those in paid employment, by regional council area' is the new table 6
  • 'Median weekly and hourly earnings for those earning income from wage/salary jobs, by full-time and part-time status' is now table 11
  • 'Median weekly income by source for those receiving that source of income' is now table 12.
  • 'Median weekly income from all sources' has been added to tables 1–5, 7 and 9.

Supplementary table changes

  • a new supplementary table has been added – 'Aggregate weekly income' (table 7).

The following Hot Off The Press tables have been moved to the supplementary tables this year:

  • 'Average weekly income by labour force status table' (formerly table 7)
  • 'Average weekly and hourly earnings for those earning income from wage/salary jobs, by full-time and part-time status' (formerly table 11)
  • 'Average weekly income for all people, by regional council area' (formerly table 12).

Introduction to the New Zealand Income Survey

The information in this release comes from the annual New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS), which is run during the June quarter (April to June) as a supplement to the Household Labour Force Survey. The New Zealand Income Survey provides a snapshot of income statistics on people and households.

When information about income is interpreted, all the factors impacting on income should be considered. Factors such as sex, age, industry, occupation, qualifications obtained, labour force status, part-time and full-time status, where people live, and ethnicity are all associated with the income people and households receive.

Median refers to where half of the people receive more and half receive less than the stated amount. This release places a greater emphasis on medians than previous releases because extreme high or low amounts tend to have less influence on median amounts than on average (mean) figures.

Income averaged across all people from all sources includes those who have zero income for some income sources. Income averaged across those receiving income from a particular source only includes those who received income from that source.

All the figures in this release refer to gross (before tax) income. People aged under 15 years are excluded from the NZIS.

Overview of the survey results

New Zealand Income Survey results for the June 2008 quarter showed moderate growth in incomes since the June 2007 quarter. Median weekly income for all people from all sources increased 3.5 percent from $519 in the June 2007 quarter to $537 in the June 2008 quarter. This annual percentage change is the lowest since the June 2003 quarter, and compares with a 7.0 percent change from the June 2006 to the June 2007 quarter.

Contributors to this growth in median weekly income were increases in female median weekly income from all sources (5.3 percent) and median weekly income from wages and salaries for those receiving wage and salary income (2.7 percent). This increase in median weekly income from wages and salaries for those receiving this form of income since the June 2007 quarter is broadly consistent with an increase of 4.8 percent in average weekly earnings over the same period, as measured by the June 2008 quarter Quarterly Employment Survey (QES). The QES is a business survey which measures change and levels of average hourly and average weekly (pre-tax) earnings, average weekly paid hours, and the number of filled jobs, while the NZIS is a household survey which collects information on individuals' sources of income.

All people, all sources income

The median income for all people from all sources (including those with no source of income) for the June 2008 quarter was $537, up 3.5 percent from the June 2007 quarter. Median weekly income from all sources in the June 2008 quarter was $413 for females, which was a significant increase of $21 (5.3 percent) from the June 2007 quarter. Median weekly income for males was $690 (up 2.3 percent).

Those in the 30- to 34-year, 45- to 49-year and 50- to 54-year age groups received the highest median weekly income of $767.

In the June 2008 quarter, the average (mean) weekly income for all people from all sources was $684, an increase of 2.5 percent from the June 2007 quarter average of $667.

Graph, Median Weekly Incomefrom All Sources by age.

Sources of income

Typically, wage and salary income is the most commonly received source of income for the working age population of New Zealand (15 years and over), with 54.3 percent of people receiving income from this source in the June 2008 quarter. Wage and salary income makes up approximately two-thirds of total income received. For the remaining source types, investment income was received by 34.2 percent of people; government transfers by 31.6 percent; self-employed by 11.7 percent; other transfers by 2.1 percent; and no source of income by 9.2 percent. Because it is possible for a person to receive more than one source of income, these percentages may sum to more than 100 percent.

Since the June 2007 quarter, the proportion of people receiving income from investments decreased significantly, from 38.0 percent to 34.2 percent. The June 2008 quarter result is similar to that of the June 2006 quarter, when the proportion was 32.4 percent. From the June 2007 quarter, the number of males receiving income from investments dropped 9.7 percent, while the number of females decreased 8.4 percent.

Graph, Proportion of All People Recieving Income by source. Graph, Median Weekly Income by source and sex.

Wage and salary income

For people receiving income from wages and salaries, growth has been moderate since the June 2007 quarter. The median weekly wage and salary income increased 2.7 percent, up to $729. This annual percentage change is the lowest since the June 2003 quarter and compares with a 5.7 percent change between the June 2006 and June 2007 quarters.

Since the June 2007 quarter, median weekly wage and salary income for males increased 5.1 percent to $863, while for females it increased 4.3 percent, to $600.

Average (mean) weekly wage and salary income also increased, up 3.9 percent from the June 2007 quarter to $827. This increase is broadly consistent with an increase of 4.8 percent in average weekly earnings over the same period, as measured by the Quarterly Employment Survey for the June 2008 quarter.

Significant increases in median weekly wage and salary income since the June 2007 quarter were recorded for the following age groups: 20- to 24-year (to $56); 55-to 59-year (to $54); and 60- to 64-year (to $81). The European and Māori ethnic groups also had significant increases in median weekly wage and salary income, up $19 (2.6 percent) and $47 (7.6 percent), respectively.

Median weekly wage and salary income for those in full-time employment increased significantly from the June 2007 quarter, up $31 (3.8 percent) to $850 in the June 2008 quarter. Both males and females experienced an increase, with males up $38 (4.4 percent), and females up $17 (2.3 percent). The largest increase in median weekly income for those employed full-time was for the 55- to 59-year age group, up $89 to $914. Females in part-time employment also had a significant increase in median weekly wage and salary income, from $230 in the June 2007 quarter to $255 in the June 2008 quarter.

Full-time median weekly wage and salary income for the European ethnic group increased significantly, up $37 to $900. For part-time workers the only significant increase was for those in the 'other' ethnic group, up $48 to $228.

Full-time employment is defined as working 30 hours or more per week, while part-time is working fewer than 30 hours per week.

Hourly earnings

Hours worked and hourly earnings are two key factors that influence wages and salaries. Since the June 2007 quarter, total hours worked decreased slightly (down 1.1 percent), while total income received from wages and salaries increased 3.6 percent. Over the same period there was no significant change in the number of people receiving income from wages and salaries.

From the June 2007 to the June 2008 quarter, median hourly earnings rose $0.75, to $18.75, with increases of $0.90 for males (to $20.00) and $0.72 for females (to $17.50). Comparing female earnings with male earnings, the ratio of median hourly earnings was 87.5 percent – a small decrease since the June 2007 quarter.

From the June 1997 to the June 2007 quarter, the ratio between female and male median hourly earnings increased, from 83.0 percent in the June 1997 quarter to 87.9 percent in the June 2007 quarter. Note that this ratio does not take into account factors (such as age, occupation, industry and qualifications gained) which can influence male and female earnings regardless of changes in levels of income.

Another measure of hourly earnings is average (mean) hourly earnings. Like median hourly earnings, average hourly earnings also increased from the June 2007 quarter to the June 2008 quarter. Average hourly earnings for people receiving income from wages and salaries in the June 2008 quarter were $22.35, an increase of $0.93 from the June 2007 quarter. This increase was mainly due to an increase for females, up $1.02 to $20.52.

All the industry groups experienced increases in median hourly earnings for people receiving income from wages and salaries. Significant increases occurred for the following industries: health and community services (6.1 percent); wholesale and retail trade (5.9 percent); construction (5.4 percent); manufacturing; and business and financial services (both up 4.9 percent).

All the occupation groups also experienced increases in median hourly earnings for people receiving income from wages and salaries. Four out of the nine occupation groups had significant increases in median hourly earnings: trade workers (6.6 percent); plant and machine operators and assemblers (6.3 percent); service and sales workers (6.0 percent); and agriculture and fisheries workers (4.6 percent).

Since the June 2007 quarter, Māori had the highest increase of all ethnic groups for both median and average hourly earnings for wages and salaries, up $1.40 to $16.74 (median) and up $1.18 to $18.76 (average). Māori males experienced a significant increase over the year, up $2.00 (12.5 percent) to $18.00 and $1.43 (8.0 percent) to $19.42, respectively.

Graph, Median Hourly Earning for Wage and Salary Earners by age.

People in the 60- to 64-year age group had the highest increase in median hourly earnings up 9.0 percent. The 20- to 24-year age group had the next highest increase at 8.1 percent.

Investment income

Investment income includes, but is not restricted to, interest from banks and other financial institutions, dividends from shares, and income received from stocks, managed funds, non-business related building rent and leased land.

Since the June 2007 quarter, the proportion of people receiving income from investments has decreased from 38.0 percent to 34.2 percent. This proportion is similar to that of the June 2006 quarter, when it was 32.4 percent. The number of males receiving income from this source dropped 9.7 percent over the year, while for females the numbers decreased 8.4 percent. The age groups which experienced significant decreases were the 30- to 34-year, 35- to 39-year, 40- to 44-year, and 65 and over age groups.

While the number of people receiving investment income decreased, those receiving income from this source had an increase in their median weekly investment income of $5, up 37.0 percent to $19. Females receiving investment income had a significant increase of $6, up 47.5 percent.

Investment income varies with age. People approaching retirement age tend to have higher investment incomes due to the length of time spent in the workforce building earnings to put towards investment. Age groups with the highest median weekly investment income were the 60- to 64-year and the 55- to 59-year age groups ($63 and $58, respectively).

Graph, Median Weekly Income from Inventmensts by age.

Government transfers

Government transfers include income from benefits, family support, student allowances, Accident Compensation Corporation, New Zealand Superannuation, and veterans and war pensions. Since the introduction of the Working for Families package there has been an increase in the number of people who are eligible for government transfers, and this is reflected in the increase in the proportion of people receiving government transfer income since the June 2005 quarter.

 

Proportion of Working-Age Population Receiving Government Transfers
2005–2008 June quarters
 June quarter Working-age population (15 years and over)
who receive government transfers
(%)
 2005 27.3
 2006 29.5
 2007 31.9
 2008 31.6
 
A higher proportion of females (37.6 percent) received government transfer income than males (25.3 percent) in the June 2008 quarter.

Since the June 2007 quarter, median weekly income from government transfers for those receiving income from this source increased to $253 (up $10) in the June 2008 quarter. For males receiving government transfer income, median weekly income from this source increased 4.8 percent, while for females the increase was 2.9 percent. Significant increases were also recorded for the 60- to 64-year and 65 and over age groups – 2.1 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Self-employment income

In the June 2008 quarter, the proportion of people receiving self-employment income was 11.7 percent. This proportion has remained relatively unchanged since the June 2006 quarter. Median weekly income from self-employment for those receiving income from this source was $604.

The 30- to 34-year and the 50- to 54-year age groups had the highest median weekly income from self-employment in the June 2008 quarter, both at $767.

Household income

The median weekly household income from all sources was $1,271 in the June 2008 quarter, an increase of 5.7 percent from the June 2007 quarter median of $1,203. Median weekly household income for couple only households increased significantly, up $62, to $1,462 since the June 2007 quarter.

Annual Change in Median Weekly Household Income from All Sources
2004–2008 June quarters
 June quarter Median weekly household income
from all sources
($)
Annual change
(%)
 2004 992 -
 2005 1,040 4.8
 2006 1,129 8.6
 2007 1,203 6.6
 2008 1,271 5.7

Average (mean) weekly household income from all sources was $1,490 in the June 2008 quarter.

For technical information contact:
Caroline Brooking or Jane Hay
Wellington 04 931 4600

Email: info@stats.govt.nz

 

Next Release...

New Zealand Income Survey: June 2009 quarter will follow the Household Labour Force Survey: June 2009 quarter release.

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