NZ incomes barely change over past year

Median weekly incomes barely changed in the year to June, but with the economy mired in recession more people received income from government transfers and fewer from self-employment.

Statistics New Zealand (SNZ) figures out today show median weekly income for all people from all sources was $538 in the June 2009 quarter, compared with the June 2008 quarter figure of $536.

Since the June 2008 quarter, the number of people receiving income from government transfers had risen 33,700 or 3.2 per cent, while the number of people receiving income from self-employment dropped 8.9 per cent or 34,100.

Government transfers include sources such as benefits, student allowances, ACC, New Zealand Superannuation, veteran and war pensions, and tax credits such as Working for Families.

Median weekly income from government transfers was up $18 to $273, with the number of people receiving government transfers in the 65-plus age group up 13,900 or 2.9 per cent.

For people receiving wages and salaries, the median weekly wage and salary income rose 4.3 per cent over the year to $760, while average weekly wage and salary income was relatively unchanged at $866.

Overall, the number of people receiving income from wages and salaries did not change significantly, but big changes were noted in some age groups.

For 15 to 19-year-olds, the number of people receiving wages and salaries fell 15 per cent, while for those aged 60 to 64 years it was up 17.7 per cent and for those aged 65-plus the number increased 24.2 per cent.

Overall, the number of people in full time employment in the June 2009 quarter did not change significantly from the June 2008 quarter, SNZ said.

But full time employment fell 24.2 per cent for those aged 15 to 19 years, while for those aged 60 to 64 years it was up 13.3 per cent.

Median weekly income from all sources fell $40 for 15 to 19-year-olds, while for those aged 25 to 29 it was up $39.

Median weekly income from investments fell by $5 to $14 over the year for those receiving income from that source.

Those aged 55 to 59 years had a fall in median weekly investment income to $29 from $58, while for the 65-plus group the income fell to $31 from $46.

The median weekly household income from all sources was $1459 in the June 2009 quarter, slightly down from $1480 a year earlier.

- NZPA

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