Employee representatives and a financial commentator say figures from a job website showing the average wage for New Zealand workers is more than $70,000, is unrealistic and sends the wrong signal to new immigrants.
Seek's latest salary report, released today, showed the average salary for jobs advertised on their website, grew to $72,731 per annum - a 1.3 per cent increase on wages since January.
The company's general manager Janet Faulding said rising employer confidence in the economy was slowly filtering through to the job market, resulting in increased wages and more opportunities for job hunters.
"Businesses across all sectors and of all sizes are telling us that they are doing well at the moment and we expect to see further modest increases in salaries to attract and retain talent this year.''
Figures from Statistics NZ show as of March this year, the average hourly wage was $27.48 or $57,158.40 per year.
Council of Trade Union economist Bill Rosenberg thought Seek's figures represented higher-paying industries that advertised on the website, and he questioned how many low-paying jobs, such as in the aged care sector or hospitality, were posted there.
"It's not a fair sample of New Zealand jobs.''
Many Pacific Islanders move to the country to work in the aged care sector, and the figure could be misleading on what to expect in their pay packets.
Financial commentator Mary Holm said the data seemed too high.
"There might be some biases in their data with the type of jobs advertised on the site.''
The figure suggested lower-paid jobs were not advertised, she said.
"I'm not saying Seek hasn't crunched its numbers well. I'm saying the numbers ... who knows what they're representing.''
Seek said based on its figures, Taranaki was the highest paid place in New Zealand, with an average salary of $80,269.
"Taranaki is home to the largest number of roles in the Mining, Resources and Energy sector ... currently the highest paid industry in the country,'' Ms Faulding said.
"Roles in this industry have an average salary of $103,275, a significant $30,000 above the national average.''
Wellington comes in second, followed by the West Coast and then Auckland. Marlborough, Northland and Tasman rounded off the list.
Seek average wage figures as at May 2013:
* Taranaki - $80,269;
* Wellington - $79,412;
* West Coast - $74,270
* Auckland - $73,828;
* National average - $72,731;
* Canterbury - $68,978;
* Waikato - $65,272;
* Bay of Plenty - $65,176;
* Manawatu - $64,584;
* Southland - $63,424;
* Otago - $63,172;
* Hawkes Bay - $61,323;
* Gisborne - $60,906;
* Marlborough - $60,356;
* Northland - $58,970;
* Tasman - $58,432.
Seek average industry wage as at May 2013:
* Mining, Resources and Energy - $103,275;
* Consulting and Strategy - $99,641;
* Information and Communication Technology - $90,529;
* Engineering - $89,859;
* Construction - $86,639;
* Legal - $83,145;
* Banking and Financial Services - $81,058;
* Marketing and Communications - $80,800;
* Government and Defence - $79,786;
* Science and Technology - $78,121;
* Real Estate and Property - $76,790;
* Accounting - $74,738;
* Human Resources and Recruitment - $74,593;
* National average - $72,731;
* Healthcare and Medical - $71,878;
* Sales - $69,578;
* Insurance and Superannuation - $68,187;
* Design and Architecture - $65,225;
* Advertising, Arts and Media $64,149;
* Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics - $63,662;
* Education and Training - $63,262;
* Farming, Animals and Conservation $58,516;
* Sport and Recreation - $54,166;
* Community Services and Development - $53,855;
* Trades and Services $52,992;
* Hospitality and Tourism $49,441;
* Retail and Consumer Products - $48,843;
* Administration and Office Support $46,835;
* Call Centre and Customer Service $46,653.