In economic figures out today CTU President Richard Wagstaff says “New Zealand is flatlining. For nearly a decade our productivity performance and our growth per person has been embarrassing.”
“We know Kiwis are hard workers, yet they are not seeing fair rewards for their work. The Government’s policies aren’t working and they’ve run out of ideas. To make matter worse, the small gains that have been made aren’t being shared fairly”
“Research on wages which we recently released showed working people who are being paid below the hourly average wage, have been getting a falling share of the income their work generates in the economy. Income is not being shared fairly.”
“The Government needs to face up to the fact that it has failed on this issue and that productivity is not improving. Goods and services produced by every hour people worked (GDP per hour) has not changed over the past year and there has been little improvement in productivity for the last four years. That’s a bad basis for future wage improvements, even if they were shared fairly.”
“Per person, the production of the economy has been increasing at far below the rate in the 2000s when GDP per person it was increasing at an average 2.6 percent a year. Since 2012 it has averaged 1.2 percent, and in the last year only 0.6 percent.”
“None of this is good news for the future standard of living of low and middle income wage and salary earners.”
“We need a strategic approach to getting us out of this low value, low wage rut,” Wagstaff says. “We need much stronger government support for productive, higher paying industries. We need much improved employment laws that set industry standards for better pay rises and working conditions so working people get a fair share of the income they create. We need public services that are properly resourced to provide life-long education and training, much better support for people when they are laid off, and which are exemplars themselves of good employment practices,” Wagstaff said.