Auckland's working population is younger, more highly educated and better paid compared with the rest of the country, a review of employment in the city has found.
Recruitment companies say Aucklanders are demanding higher wages as the cost of living rises.
Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show 46 per cent of Aucklanders have a post-school qualification compared with 40 per cent of workers in the rest of the country and, on average, Aucklanders are paid $1056 a week before tax, compared to $965 for workers in the rest of the country.
The city's workers are younger - 45 per cent are aged between 25 and 44, compared with 39 per cent in the rest of New Zealand.
Auckland also has almost half of the country's workers in some industries, including wholesale trade, transport and communications, financial, insurance and business services.
The information was collated from the Household Labour Force Survey, which interviewed about 30,000 people in 15,000 households, and the Quarterly Employment Survey, which gathered information from 18,000 businesses.
Joanna Wilson, from the Ultimate Recruitment Company's Auckland office, said employers bumped up salaries because rent and house prices were higher in the city.
An administrative or support role could pay $5000 to $10,000 a year more than in another region.
The city's workers were younger because there was a more transient workforce, she said.
"We do have a higher ratio of immigrants coming into Auckland," Ms Wilson said.
"A lot of them are coming for their 24-month work permit period and while they may be intending to apply for residency, many of them won't, they'll return to wherever they came from or they may continue travelling..." she said.
"And it could be said that most students are flooding out into the Auckland market and not venturing into other areas of New Zealand.
"They're either securing employment in the Auckland region or they are moving into other roles in other countries, like going on their OE or moving to Australia."
Simon Power moved to Auckland from Tauranga this year for a pay rise within his company.
The 25-year-old, who installs photocopiers at businesses around the city, said he was now paying more in living costs but preferred living in Auckland.
"I was paying $120 a week for a room in a mansion and living 15 minutes away from town with no traffic. If I wanted to pay that here, I'd have to live way out in Hamilton," he said.
"But I love living here, there's lots of good places to eat, lots of activities - my first week here I went ice-skating."
Salaries and wages rose by two per cent nationally in the year to June 30, and 0.4 per cent in the quarter, according to the Labour Cost Index, released yesterday.
Private sector salary and ordinary time wages rose 0.5 per cent in the quarter - a faster pace than the 0.3 per cent increase in consumer prices.
Private sector salaries increased 2.1 per cent over the year and public sector rates increased 1.6 per cent.
The Quarterly Employment Survey, also issued yesterday, showed the number of full-time employees rose 1.2 per cent in the quarter to 1.12 million.
Aucklanders Earn More
Auckland jobs pay a little more than average - most industries have higher earnings.
Gross wages per week
Rest of NZ: $965
Aucklanders are better educated
Auckland has lower proportions of people with no qualifications and no post-school qualifications than the rest of New Zealand.
It also has greater proportions of people with school qualifications and post-school qualifications.
Rest of NZ: 25%
Rest of NZ: 23%
Post-school with no school qualification
Rest of NZ: 10%
Post-school and school qualification
Rest of NZ: 40%
Some industries make Auckland their home
• 1/3 of employees in the country are employed by Auckland businesses.
• Almost half of all jobs in wholesale trade are based in the Auckland region.
• 43% of overall overseas goods move through Auckland [59% of import goods, 28% of export goods]
• Financial, insurance and business services, and transport and communications are also strongly Auckland-based.
Source: Statistics NZ