Wages growth remains subdued

The latest wages growth data have revealed that wages growth continues to remain subdued, with Western Australia recording annual wages growth of just 2.1 per cent in the June quarter.

Recently released Wage Price Index (WPI) figures, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows that Western Australia’s WPI grew by only 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter in June to stand 2.1 per cent higher over the year. For the fourth quarter in a row, Western Australia has recorded the slowest annual wages growth of all states.

Nationally, hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses increased by 2.3 per cent annually to June. Private sector wages grew at a record low annual rate of 2.2 per cent, representing the lowest rate of annual wages growth since statistics began in 1998. The public sector experienced annual wages growth of 2.5 per cent in June.

Meanwhile, wages growth in enterprise agreement wages has also remained subdued, as revealed by the Department of Employment’s Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining Report. The Average Annualised Wage Increases (AAWI) for enterprise agreements approved in the March 2015 quarter was 3.1 per cent, a decrease from the December Quarter of 2014 which was 3.4 per cent. This is the lowest AAWI reported since the June Quarter 1994 and represents a decrease of 0.3 per cent in wages growth over the quarter.

Western Australia’s AAWI stood at 3.0 per cent, while Tasmania experienced the highest AAWI at 3.9 per cent and New South Wales the lowest at 2.7 per cent. Private sector agreements recorded AAWI of 3.0 per cent, down from 3.3 per cent in the December quarter 2014.

Australian Bureau of Statistics – Wage Price Index – June Quarter 2015

Australian Government Department of Employment – Trends ion Federal Enterprise Bargaining – March Quarter 2015