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Construction Labour Cost Guide

The New Zealand Building Economist is proud to announce the launch of its Construction Labour Cost Guide.


A guide to Labour Costs, classified into 60 (sixty) Construction Industry Occupations, adjusted for current Labour Cost Indices by Occupation Group. Expressed as Current Annual, Weekly, & Hourly MEDIAN income rates, calculated from Stats NZ Census Data for Occupation, income from all sources before tax, and the Number of Hours usually worked each week.


Also expressed as Hourly MEDIAN income rates, for 60 Construction industry Occupations across 16 regions of New Zealand, (where datasets permit).


Updated quarterly with 'Occupation Group Specific' Labour Cost Indices for ANZSCO Occupation Codes.



ANZSCO - Standard Classification of Occupations


The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) provides a basis for the standardised collection, analysis and dissemination of occupation data for Australia and New Zealand. ANZSCO is a skill-based classification used to classify all occupations and jobs in the Australian and New Zealand labour markets.


NZBE have reviewed the ANZSCO list and selected sixty relevant construction related occupations for analysis of census data for census years, 2006, 2013, 2018. In the 2018 Census Statistics NZ data included 338,751 census responses for sixty construction related occupations.


NZBE provides the full occupation description for each of the 60 occupations selected for this guide. For example;

133111 Construction Project Manager - Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates construction of civil engineering and building projects, and the physical and human resources involved in the construction process. (Commercial work). There are 9,576 Construction Project Managers in NZ.

133112 Project Builder - Plans, organises, directs, controls and coordinates the construction, alteration and renovation of dwellings and other buildings, and the physical and human resources involved in the building process. (Residential work). There 34,275 Project Builders in NZ.


Data Analysis and Projections


Census data captures income from all sources by income bands including income bands below minimum wage, and part time work. We have focused on full time work and excluded incomes below the minimum wage. Only two out of sixty occupations worked less than 40 hours per week on average. Salaried employees, may work longer hours than they are contracted for. The hourly rates reflect the actual hours worked. Median or Mean rates will be lower for this factor. Output hourly rates do not recognise any boundaries between ordinary time rates and overtime rates.


The median represents the middle value of a dataset, when all of the values are arranged from smallest to largest. The median is an important metric to calculate because it gives us an idea of where the “centre” of a dataset is located. It also gives us an idea of the “typical” value in a given dataset.


We have run our median calculator over the datasets for the censuses in 2006, 2013 and 2018. To connect the median dots between census data years, we have applied Labour cost indices developed by Stats NZ for each ANZSCO occupation group after re-basing these to 2006. The objective of connecting the dots this way is to arrive at the best method for publishing current median data as a guide based on full data set surveys, which are reset at each census, to ensure minimal statistical deviation error during progression between censuses. The use of Labour Costs Indices for Occupational groups is more granular than using the All Construction labour LCI applied to say Fluctuations formula, but is not unique to each Occupation. The Medians are re-based by freshly analysed Census data to correct for this.


Formula Fluctuations by indexation of Construction Costs


NZBE have included a calculator for Formula Fluctuations following the rules setout in NZS3910:2013 Appendix A. Each quarter we update the default calculation to show the Fluctuations recovery result for the last 12 months. Based on June 2023 compared to June 2022, this method reports construction inflation @ 5.58%PA. NZBE have provided LCI and PPI indices from 2006 to June 2023. You can use this calculator to prepare your fluctuations claims using the amount scheduled for payment of your monthly payment claims.


Please welcome the new Construction Labour Cost Guide to the market.


We are excited to bring the new Construction Labour Cost Guide to the market. It serves as a guide to current construction labour costs, a basis for calculating and verifying labour costs Nationally and across the sixteen Regions of New Zealand for construction industry occupations.




“If you enjoy this blog, please share it with your like minded colleagues”


“Celebrating 50 years of New Zealand Building Economist 1972 to 2021”


By Matthew Ensoll

FNZIQS. Reg.QS.

Editor New Zealand Building Economist.



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