Private Sector Wages Growth Still Slow

Wage Price Index, Australia, December Quarter 2015, 6345.0

The latest ABS figures of the Wage Price Index shows that private sector wages grew by 2% in calendar 2015, the lowest since this Index was started in 1998.The public sector figure was 2.6%.

These statistics confirm anecdotal evidence over the last 12 months that negotiated wage rises have fallen. The underlying inflation rate of 1.7% is clearly a factor in this development, although slow-downs in the mining and energy sectors appear to have dampened claims across a wide range of industries and sectors.

While these statistics are based on large numbers of employees’ economy-wide they are nevertheless useful as a guide to the reasonableness or otherwise of enterprise-level bargaining claims and counter offers.