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Christchurch labour costs increase, driven by construction, on strong demand, low unemployment

Friday 20th December 2013

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The cost of labour in Christchurch is increasing, especially in the construction industry, driven by a tight labour market with low unemployment and strong demand due to the earthquake rebuild, according to the latest September quarter Canterbury Rebuild Report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

The mismatch between supply and demand saw salary and wages in the Canterbury construction sector grow at a 3.7 percent annual pace in the September quarter, outpacing the 1.6 percent rate for the construction industry in the rest of New Zealand, the report said.

The Reserve Bank has said it's monitoring the extent the Canterbury rebuild will spillover to broader inflation, and is expected to hike interest rates early next year as the local economic recovery gathers momentum.

The next MBIE report, covering the December quarter, will be released in March.

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