Manufacturing improvement dominates job market data

Two of the country's most beleaguered industries show signs of life in the first batch of this week's labour market data.

The number of filled jobs rose 0.4% while full-time jobs rose 0.7% in the last three months of 2012, Statistics New Zealand's quarterly employment survey shows.

The main increases in jobs are in construction, up 6.8%, wholesale trade, up 8.3%, and healthcare and social assistance, up 4.3%.

On an annual basis, average ordinary time hourly earnings rose 2.6% for the year, with the largest increase in manufacturing, up 2.9%, while retail trade rose 2.7%.

Both sectors have been the centre of some political heat, with the prospects for manufacturing, in particular, being the target of the country's main opposition parties.

On a weekly basis, the income improvement is even more pronounced. Average ordinary time weekly earnings rose 2.9% for the year, or about $29 a week.

Manufacturing ordinary time weekly earnings rose 4.1% for the year.

The overall picture in the figures is of a slow recovery. Across all sectors, the number of filled jobs is still below the peak of December 2007.

Labour costs data, also released today, shows a gradual recovery. For the year, labour costs grew 1.8% overall, with private sector wage and salary rates rising 2.0% and public sector rates rising 1.5%.

In both the labour costs data and the quarterly employment survey there is a clear sign the Canterbury reconstruction is picking up pace.  

Canterbury's job market, meanwhile, has returned to pre-earthquake levels. The number of filled jobs rose 4.7% for the year, with the main rises being in construction, healthcare and social assistance, and arts and recreation services.

Wage growth is stronger in Canterbury than elsewhere, reflecting the competition for skills to help with the rebuild.

Wage and salary rates rose 3.9% for the region's construction firms, whereas the national figure was 2.3%.

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9 Comments & Questions

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Gosh, another inconvenient truth to trump Labour's manufactured "crisis" and propaganda in this sector.

Maybe they should call for an inquiry into how to get "the facts" to fit their screeching wails of woe, because these inconvenient truths are really starting to make their propaganda look as silly as their housing promises.

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Ordinary time hourly earnings up 2.9% in manufacturing. It's the managers' big spendup before the liquidators move in.

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But is a fragile recovery coming off a very low base. Hardly an indication there is no crisis.

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Solidarity, since National has assumed control of the economy under Mr Do Nothing English (Mark2), the jobs market and manufacturing sectors have significantly declined. A bit like when he was Finance Minister under Shipley. Serves the voters right as he hasn't changed or got more competent as he failed then too.

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What rubbish! The facts speak for themselves. National's stewardship of the economy over the last five years is now beggining to pay dividends, albeit small ones.
A marked improvement on the 'borrow and hide' policies of the comrade's era.

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Check out the inconvenient truth behind your government of Nation disgraces borrowing habits sometime.

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There's been a significant decline all right. Most likely the result of the FTA with China and then at about the same time the GFC really started to get ugly.

Lucky for NZ, though, we had National to steer us through the mess Labour set them up for with the biggest hospital pass of all time! Some manufacturers flourished, others ... not so much.

Olives will be the next big thing for NZ inc, there's exciting times ahead for them on the world's stage.

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Therein lies the heart of the problem of our economy, and our government.
"Eureka, lets grow a low tech-low value product; that will save us!!" Until we get a government that has a vision of growing a 21st century economy and produce high-value products we will continue to slide down the drain.
The current government has a focus on doing the same thing different ways - there in no imagination or vision.
On top of that, we have to thank our 'courageous leader' for growth resulting from the Christchurch rebuild. Pathetic.

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What a ridiculous headline! A more accurate one would read `manufacturing's last gasp choked off by money speculators.'

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