Latest data shows all industries have wages growth well below inflation

by Greg Jericho

Enterprise agreements in June averaged just 2.8% annual wage growth – well below inflation.

The latest data on enterprise agreements from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations reveals that agreements lodged in the June quarter contained average wage increases well below inflation across all industries.

While it has long been clear that wages have not been driving inflation, this latest data shows that most industries are not even seeing wages growth above the Reserve Bank’s inflation target ceiling of 3%. Although the overall average annual wage increase of agreements lodged in the June quarter of 2.8% is above the wage price index grwoth of 2.6%, and displays yet again that enterprise barganing agreements deliver better wage outcomes, even this is well below the current 6.1% inflation growth.

Given on average these agreements are set to last out to the end of 2024 and the Reserve Bank is currently anticipating inflation to then to be well above 3% this means most workers will be seeing a real wage cut.

Retail workers, for exmaple, get average average annual rise of 3%, but the expected average growth of inflation out to the end of 2024 is 5.2%. This means by December 2024 their real wage will be around 7.5% below the level it was in June 2021.

Wages had nothing to do with rise in inflation, and yet we are seeing again and again evidence that workers are the ones who are being hit the hardest as prices and profits rise.

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