The gender pay gap was 9.4 percent in the June 2017 quarter, down from 12.0 percent in the June 2016 quarter, Stats NZ said. This is the smallest gender pay gap in five years, after women’s hourly pay rose at a faster pace than men’s in the past year.
“Recently, there’s been a spotlight on gender pay inequality in New Zealand,” labour and income statistics manager Sean Broughton said.
“The decrease from a 12 percent gap in 2016 is the biggest drop in the gender pay gap since the series began in 1998.”
The gender pay gap is a way to understand the differences in pay between men and women.
Median hourly earnings from wages and salaries rose 80 cents (3.4 percent), to $24.29, in the year to the June 2017 quarter. For women, median hourly earnings rose by $1.02 (4.6 percent). This is the biggest annual percentage increase since the June 2007 quarter.
“Increases in median hourly earnings for women in four of eight occupation groups played a major part in the 4.6 percent rise in women’s hourly earnings,” Mr Broughton said.
Over the year, median hourly earnings for women rose in the following occupation groups: community and personal services (4.4 percent), clerical and administration (4.1 percent), sales (2.9 percent), and machinery operator and drivers (11.1 percent).
“Three out of four of these occupation groups have a higher proportion of women in them,” Mr Broughton said.
Community and personal services include occupations, such as: personal and child carers, health workers, education aides, and hospitality workers. The recent government deal to lift pay for aged-care workers came into effect on 1 July 2017, so is not reflected in the June 2017 quarter figures.
In the June 2017 quarter, half of workers aged 15 years and over earned more than $959 a week from paid employment. This is a rise of $35 (3.8 percent) from the June 2016 quarter. Paid employment includes both wage and salary earners and self-employed people.
Median weekly earnings from paid employment for Māori rose $44 (5.2 percent), to $884 in the year to the June 2017 quarter. For Māori men, earnings rose $79 (8.6 percent) to reach $1,000 for the same period. For Māori women, the rise was $47 (6.6 percent), to $767, but this was not statistically significant.
Median weekly earnings from wages and salaries increased $22 (2.4 percent), to $959 in the June 2017 quarter. Median weekly earnings for women rose $30 (3.8 percent) to $830 per week, while those for men rose $34 (3.2 percent), to $1,108.
Source: Statistics NZ