New Zealand's growing inflation rate - now 4% - could fuel higher wage increases, say IT union leaders. However, IT recruitment chiefs say this is unlikely, and skills are more important anyway.
Barry O'Brien of Enterprise says only the supply and demand for skills determines wages in the IT sector.
"Those in demand in IT don't really even think about the Consumer Price Index as they can command significant increases as their skills develop. There may be a large body of individuals in the major companies who are influenced by the CPI but generally it comes down to supply and demand and currency of skills," he says.
Candle IT & T Recruitment's Christine Fitchew agrees, saying many people won't notice price increases of 4%.
However, the Council for Trade Unions and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says as people notice price increases, they will demand more money - and recent price increases have mainly been in essentials like food and fuel.
"Supply and demand are always critical factors, along with the industry's ability to pay," says EPMU national secretary Andrew Little, "but there aren't many people who wouldn't take into account rises in their own living costs when negotiating pay."