26 September 2023

Private sector trumps PS in wages growth

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New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed that for the first time since 2012 private sector wages in Australia in the last quarter of 2019 grew at a faster rate than in the public sector.

Chief Economist at the ABS, Bruce Hockman said private sector wages grew at 0.5 per cent in the quarter, while public sector wages returned 0.4 per cent growth.

Mr Hockman said the seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.5 per cent in the December quarter to 2019 and 2.2 per cent through the year.

“The seasonally adjusted quarterly rise of 0.5 per cent extended the period of moderate growth observed throughout 2019 and was influenced by the relative stability of the labour underutilisation rate,” Mr Hockman said.

“Annually, both private and public sector wages rose 2.2 per cent. Tthis was the lowest public sector growth rate since the commencement of the index in December quarter 1997.”

He said the State of Victoria recorded the highest through-the-year growth of 2.7 per cent, while Western Australia recorded the lowest growth rate for the sixth consecutive quarter with 1.7 per cent.

According to the ABS figures, annual wage growth across industries in 2019 ranged from 1.6 per cent for the information media and telecommunication services industry, to 3.1 per cent for the healthcare and social assistance industry.

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