Wage growth has plummeted to a 23-year low as the coronavirus pandemic puts a dent in the jobs market.
Wage growth has plummeted to a 23-year low as the coronavirus pandemic puts a dent in the jobs market.

Wage growth slumps to 23-year low

Australian wage growth has plummeted to a 23-year low as challenging conditions induced by the coronavirus pandemic dent working hours.

The latest wage price index issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows wages for the June quarter rose 0.2 per cent, while seasonally adjusted annual growth was recorded at 1.8 per cent.

It is the lowest 12-monthly rise since 1997 when the ABS first introduced the wage price index.

ABS head of statistics Andrew Tomadini said the June quarter was the first full period that captured the social and business impacts from COVID-19.

"The June 2020 quarter rise was mainly in the public sector (0.6 per cent)," he said.

"Private sector wage growth eased to 0.1 per cent as businesses adjusted to changes in the Australian economy."

The index captures the change in price in hourly wages worked and salaries paid for a respective job.

The ABS said JobKeeper payments made to employees would fall out of the scope of the index, meaning the index interprets the relief subsidy scheme as paid wages.

In original terms public sector wages grew 0.4 per cent, while private wages fell negative 0.1 per cent in unadjusted terms. It is the first negative wages result in the index's history.

South Australia and Tasmania had the highest 12-month wage growth, both increasing by 2.4 per cent. Western Australia had the lowest recorded wage growth at 1.6 per cent.

Originally published as Wage growth slumps to 23-year low


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