Australian wage growth has decelerated in recent years to the slowest sustained pace since the 1930s. Nominal wages have grown very slowly since 2012; average real wages (after adjusting for inflation) have not grown at all. The resulting slowdown in personal incomes has contributed to weak consumer spending, more precarious household finances, and even larger government deficits.
The wage slowdown has elicited concern from economists and political leaders across the spectrum. Even Dr. Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, has called it a “crisis,” and suggested that faster wage growth would be beneficial for the economy.
This new collection of 20 essays by leading labour market experts and commentators in Australia explores the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to this problem. The book is published by University of Adelaide Press. The book was launched in Melbourne on 29 November, with remarks from Natalie James, former Commonwealth Fair Work Ombudsman and Chair of the Victorian Inquiry Into the On-Demand Workforce.
Through the links below you may access excerpts from the book, links to participating authors, and supplementary material (including commentary, other readings, and videos). Our hope is that this collection will spark a needed debate in Australia about how to get wages back on track.
About the Editors:
Andrew Stewart is the John Bray Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide and a Legal Consultant to the law firm Piper Alderman.
Tess Hardy is a Senior Lecturer at Melbourne Law School, and Co-Director of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law.
Jim Stanford is Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work at the Australia Institute.
A digital edition of the book is available for free download from University of Adelaide Press. Paperback copies can be ordered for $60 from Federation Press; please submit inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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