26 Aug 2020

Median weekly income falls 7.6% to $650

3:28 pm on 26 August 2020

Incomes have fallen for the first time on record, down 7.6 percent compared with last year.

Magnifying glass over Jobs section of newspaper classifieds

Photo: 123rf

The data from Stats NZ shows the median weekly income - that means half the workers earned above, and half the workers earned below - is down to $652 per week.

Labour market statistics manager Andrew Neal said the pandemic had impacted the numbers, with more people away from jobs without pay, and receiving government transfers.

While hourly or weekly wages and salaries increased over the year, there was also a sharp rise in paid employees who reported no hours worked, and no income.

Neal said they were more likely to be younger and from the retail trade and accommodation industry.

"Both these groups tend to have lower incomes."

Stats NZ incomes fall in June 2020 quarter

Photo: Stats NZ

Weekly earnings for self-employed people dropped $96 or 12.5 percent to $671, in the June 2020 quarter - the largest percentage fall since the series began. Before this, the second largest fall was in 2008, when earnings fell 8.6 percent or $58.

"More self-employed earners were seen in lower-income brackets as well, with median weekly incomes down almost $100 a week."

Stats NZ incomes fall in June 2020 quarter

Photo: Stats NZ

In the June 2020 quarter, more than 1.2 million people received government payouts for Jobseeker Support, New Zealand Superannuation, and student allowances.

The median amount received rose as well, increasing 6.7 percent to $364 weekly.

The largest increases were within the 20-24-years age group, up 8.6 percent to $267 a week, and the 60-64-years age group, up 14.5 percent to $335 a week. Following closely was the 65 years and over age group, up 3.2 percent to $371 a week.

Stats NZ incomes fall in June 2020 quarter

Photo: Stats NZ

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