June 2022

Profits push up prices too, so why is the RBA governor only talking about wages?

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Phillip Lowe has invoked memories of the 1970s, warning wage growth must be restrained to contain Australia’s surging inflation. In the 1970s, Lowe said last week, “we got into trouble because wages growth responded mechanically to the higher inflation rate”. Now, with inflation above 5%, and tipped to reach 7% by the

Exit Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Australians Want Wage Growth in Line with Cost of Living

As the Fair Work Commission prepares to announce this year’s increase in the national minimum wage, new polling data shows that the vast majority of Australians support lifting wages to keep up with rising inflation. The Australia Institute conducted a special exit poll, surveying a nationally representative sample of 1,424 Australians on the evening of

May 2022

Joseph E. Stiglitz Australian Speaking Tour: July 2022 ‘The Role of Government in the Modern Economy’

Nobel Laureate, former World Bank Chief Economist, and best-selling author Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz will visit Australia in July 2022 to discuss the need to expand the role of governments, unions, and civil society. The tour, hosted by the Australia Institute, will see Professor Stiglitz speak at a wide range of events for the general

One in Five Worked with COVID Symptoms; Sick Leave Entitlements Must Be Strengthened

Almost one in five Australians (and a higher proportion of young workers) acknowledge working with potential COVID symptoms over the course of the pandemic, according to new opinion research released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research confirms the public health dangers of Australia’s patchwork system of sick leave and related

Wages Will Continue to Lag Without Targeted Wage-Boosting Measures: New Report

A comprehensive review of Australian wage trends indicates that wage growth is likely to remain stuck at historically weak levels despite the dramatic disruptions experienced by the Australian labour market through the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds that targeted policies to deliberately lift wages are needed to break free of the low-wage trajectory that has

Why commentary that wages growing in line with inflation will drive up inflation is completely misguided

by Greg Jericho in The Guardian

Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real

Pandemic Workforce Crisis Requires TAFE Investment in Early Childhood Education to Boost Economy: Report

A new report has found pandemic workforce shortages should be tackled through investment in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) to boost employment, unlock productivity and support life-long development outcomes for children. The research report launched today, ‘Educating for Care: Meeting Skills Shortages in an Expanding ECEC Industry’ has called for the sector to be

April 2022

Universal Public Early Child Education in Australia Would Pay For Itself: Research Report

Making Early Child Education and Care (ECEC) universal in Australia would pay for itself by unlocking women’s labour supply, boosting GDP and growing government revenues by billions, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. With cost of living shaping up as a key election issue, policy experts say boosted funding would

March 2022

New Research: Australia’s Skills System Continues to Crumble After COVID

Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) system shows growing signs of erosion, fragmentation and dysfunction, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. The research reveals a grim picture of a VET system starved of consistent funding or focus, fragmenting into scattered offerings of non-accredited and ‘micro-credential’ courses, mostly provided by

A budget for buying votes or backing workers? [webinar]

featuring Greg Jericho and Ebony Bennett

Today we bring you another conversation from the Australia Institute’s webinar series. The Coalition Government’s ninth Federal Budget on 29 March will be an election Budget. Against the backdrop of a cost of living crisis, ACTU President Michele O’Neil looks beneath the likely hype to talk about what will really matter for workers. This was

February 2022

Australia ready to become sustainable EV-making powerhouse: new research

A unique combination of advantages has handed Australia a historic chance to become a sustainable global manufacturer of electric vehicles – provided the federal government acts swiftly and decisively, according to new research by the Australia Institute’s Carmichael Centre. The new report, Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia: Industrial Opportunities in an Electrified Future, has found Australia

January 2022

December 2021

As collective bargaining erodes in Australia, solutions from other countries could strengthen bargaining and lift wages 

New research on international collective bargaining systems, released today in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Labour and Industry, finds that Australia’s industrial relations system is rapidly losing its ability to support wages in the face of numerous challenges (now including the Omicron outbreak). On the heels of new data showing further erosion of Australia’s

Victorian Rate Cap Policy Costs Economy Over 7,000 jobs and $890 million to GDP

The Victorian State Government’s policy to cap the rates of local government has cost the Victorian economy 7,425 direct and indirect jobs in 2021-22, and has reduced GDP by up to $890 million in 2021-22, according to new research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. Key Findings The Victorian Government’s rate caps have

November 2021

Eight free weeks: Time stolen from employees skyrockets during COVID

The number of hours stolen from Australians by employers has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the average employee now providing eight full-time weeks of free work per year. 17 November 2021 marks Go Home on Time Day, run by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, and now in its thirteenth year. Key findings

Active Policy Measures Needed to Stop Decline of Journalism

The media and information industries have lost some 60,000 jobs in Australia over the last 15 years. With almost half of those jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows active policy supports are urgently needed to stabilise and protect the ‘public good’ function of journalism. A new report by the Australia Institute’s Centre

October 2021

Insecure Workers Have Been the ‘Shock Troops’ of the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Report

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work confirms that workers in casual and insecure jobs have borne the lion’s share of job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic – both the first lockdowns in 2020, and the more recent Delta-wave of closures. Key Findings: Since May, workers in casual and part-time jobs have

September 2021

July 2021

When the Show Cannot Go On: Rebooting Australia’s Arts & Entertainment Sector After COVID-19

New research from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, written by Senior Economist Alison Pennington and Monash University’s Ben Eltham, reveals the ongoing, devastating impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s arts and entertainment sector and provides a series of recommendations to government that would reboot the creative sector following the crisis. Key Findings: The arts

May 2021

Australia’s Electricity Infrastructure Undermined by $1 Billion Per Year Under Investment

The resilience of Australia’s electricity infrastructure is being undermined by a chronic pattern of underinvestment in maintenance and upkeep, the result of rent-seeking by private electricity producers and a deeply flawed regulatory system. That is the conclusion of a detailed review of empirical and qualitative data on the transmission and distribution system contained in a

March 2021

February 2021

Business Council of Australia Research Confirms Centre for Future Work Research

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has today released a report which confirms trends described in earlier research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work. However, the BCA’s expressed concern for ‘the future of bargaining’ contradicts its support for the Government’s omnibus bill which will further undermine genuine bargaining and suppress already record-low wage

Omnibus IR Bill will Further Reduce Wage Growth

New research by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows the Federal Government’s omnibus industrial relations bill will lead to a significant increase in employer-designed enterprise agreements (EA) that reduce workers’ pay and conditions, rather than improve them—signaling a return to the WorkChoices pattern of EA-making and putting further downward pressure on Australia’s already

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