New Zealand farm workers are doing better than their counterparts in other industries when it comes to wage rises. A Rabobank-Federated Farmers survey has shown farm workers recorded an overall average salary rise of 4.9% in the year to October, 2010.
With inflation about 4.6% in the first quarter of this year, farm workers were better off personally and professionally, with average wage and salary increases of 8.2% in the past two years, Federated Farmers national president Don Nicolson said.
The 4.9% increase meant farm workers were slightly ahead of rising costs. It contrasted with Statistic New Zealand's labour cost index for the March quarter, which recorded a 1.9% increase in the year to March, 2011.
”At 45.410 NZ dollars (approx 37.000 US dollars) per annum, the average farm employee earned 8.567 NZ dollars more than the average personal [mean] annual wage and salary income earner. This was up from 43.294 NZ dollars in the 2009 report,” Mr Nicolson said.
The squeeze had come at managerial levels, especially in dairy, where mean total package values (TPVs) fell by 8.6%.
Then again, senior dairy farm managers benefited from sizeable increases in 2008 and 2009. The higher employees go, the more they seem to be expected to share business volatility, he said.
While salaries and TPVs for dairy farm managers fell, overall wages and salaries for dairy workers increased by an average of 5.4%, with a 0.5% increase in a worker's TPV.
By contrast, the improved picture for sheep and beef translated into mean TPV increases for senior management of 7.25%. Senior arable farm managers also recorded a slight increase. (odt.co.nz).
On January 7 the exchange rate of the NZ dollar was 1.197055 to one US dollar.