The decision by the Fair Work Commission to increase the minimum wage by 5.2 per cent is a rare bright spot for workers in what has been a terrible decade for wage increases. This increase represents an extra $1.05 per hour or about $40 per week for someone working full time. About 2.3 million workers
The Fair Work Commission has announced an important increase in the national minimum wage, which will rise by $1.05 per hour (or 5.2%) effective 1 July 2022. This represents a significant shift in the debate over wages in Australia, whichi have been languishing for years — and are now falling in real terms.
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
The decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia this week to increase official interest rates by half a percentage point surprised many. The bank is a notoriously conservative organisation. It usually likes to take things slowly. As it spent the last year suggesting it was unlikely to do anything drastic on interest rates until wages
This week’s Burning Platforms will introduce ‘Civility’ – a new collaborative platform designed to create better public engagement. Recorded live 10th June 2022. With our regular panelists: Peter Lewis, Director of The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology Lizzie O’Shea, Chair of Digital Rights Watch and new panelist: David Swan, Technology Editor at The Australian Special guest:
The latest labour account survey released by the Bureau of Statistics revealed that while job growth remains solid and the job vacancy rate is at record levels, workers real incomes remains at best flat.
A massive expansion in Australia’s gas production did nothing to make gas cheap for Australian homes and businesses. A decade of propping up ageing coal-fired power stations did nothing to ensure the reliability of our electricity supply. And the Coalition’s so-called “gas trigger” and “big stick” electricity reforms have done nothing to control Australian energy
The collapse in agreement coverage under Australia’s enterprise bargaining system in Australia in recent years, particularly in the private sector, has focused attention on the need for reforms that will give more workers the effective ability to collectively negotiate better wages and conditions. In the private sector, coverage by a current enterprise agreement has fallen by half since 2013: to below 11% of all workers by March 2021. No wonder wages are lagging so far behind inflation.
Australia cannot solve the climate crisis while we keep opening new gas fields and coal mines. In this episode we’re listening back to our webinar with Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP for a discussion about how Australia can rapidly transition to a clean energy economy and move beyond fossil fuels. This was recorded on Thursday
The March quarter GDP figures show that while the economy is growing strongly, workers are missing out of their fair share.
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
The election of a new government presents Australia with a much-needed opportunity to reappraise its place in the world. In less than 20 years, we have segued from serious engagement in Asia and a leadership role in the Pacific to marginal significance in the affairs of Asia (except as a massive mine and a source
The long-awaited Legislative Council Fin Fish Farming in Tasmania Inquiry report tabled in Parliament today, highlights the many problems faced by the industry. The Australia Institute Tasmania commends the Committee’s call for an overarching Marine Plan for Tasmania through a comprehensive stakeholder consultation, informed by assessment of environmental, social and recreational values, with a transparent
Three days before the federal election, new ABS data confirmed that Australian wage growth is still stuck at historically weak rate (up just 2.4% year over year to March 2022). One day later, another ABS release showed another small decline in the unemployment rate, which is now below 4%. Most of the decline was due to people leaving the labour market (rather than new jobs being created). But the data is being cited by the current government as a sign that better wage growth is just around the corner.
Key Points: Unemployment falls 0.1% to 3.9% 4,000 jobs created in last quarter, but unemployment fell by 11,000 7,000 people gave up looking for work this quarter, shown by the participation rate falling to 66.3% (from 66.4%) “Today’s ABS statistics reveal that more people gave up looking for work than found a job in the
The release of the March Wage Price Index confirms what a horror year it has been for workers. While inflation in the past 12 months rose 5.1%, wages grew just 2.4%. Even worse, in the past year the price of non-discretionary items rose 6.6%, meaning for those on low wages, who spend more of their incomes on essential items, real wages would have fallen even more than the 2.6% average fall.
The debate over wages, prices, and living standards heated up even further this week, with the release of new ABS statistics showing continuing weakness in wages despite the acceleration of inflation. The latest data from the ABS Wage Price Index (WPI) shows nominal wages grew just 2.4% over the 12 months ending in March. That is less than half as fast as consumer prices grew (5.1%), producing the biggest decline in real wages this century.
The Fair Work Commission recently announced important changes to the SCHADS Award (which sets minimum standards for workers in home care, disability services, community agencies, and other vital services) as part of its award review process. This culminates several years of research and advocacy by unions representing workers in these sectors, aimed at improving job quality and stability in these vital but undervalued positions. The Centre for Future Work provided expert testimony to the Commission as part of its review.
“The latest wages data show that real wages in the past 12 months fell 2.5%. This horror result for workers shows that not only are wages not putting pressure on inflation but that workers are not seeing the benefits of lower unemployment,” said Greg Jericho, employment & fiscal policy director at the Australia Institute’s Centre
Research released today reveals that companies like Woolworths and the Commonwealth Bank are under no pressure to pass on a 5% increase in the minimum wage as a 5% increase in their prices. The research finds that boosting workers’ wages by 5% would lead to an increase in prices across the economy of less than
Every three months the Bureau of Statistics releases the lesser-known cousin of the consumer price index. It’s called the Wage Price Index (WPI) and it records changes in the overall level of wages, in the same way the price index records changes in the overall level of consumer prices.
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
The current election campaign has seen the two major parties put forward housing policies, both of which to varying degrees are aimed at the demand side of the equation.
This week the election campaign has turned to discussion about the increase to the minimum wage, with suggestions that an increase either in line with the curent rate of inflation of 5.1% or marginally above it (such as the ACTU’s proposal of a 5.5% increase) would bring about a return to 1970s style wage sprials.
While it makes economic and political sense to suggest, as Anthony Albanese has, that the minimum wage, and indeed most wages, rise inline with the rate of inflation Scott Morrison has suggested such a move would be ‘reckless and dangerous’. What’s far more dangerous and reckless is letting real wages and consumer spending fall just
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
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
Surging inflation is driving record increases in government tax revenue while simultaneously pushing down workers’ real wages, according to new Australia Institute analysis of Treasury forecasts released today. As the figure below shows, Treasury forecasts of Commonwealth spending are well above the spending forecasts made pre-covid and, more significantly, well above the levels forecast in
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.
For most of the past decade the talk about housing affordability has focussed on house prices. As fiscal policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column, falling interest rates since November 2010 have made paying off a mortgage less onerous than it otherwise would have given the soaring house prices.