Australian wages aren't keeping up with inflation

Photo by Robert Gray/Getty Images

Fresh from learning Australian wages grew at the slowest pace on record yesterday, the ABS has reinforced the point, today revealing average weekly full-time ordinary earnings rose by just 2.0% to $1,484.50 in the year to May.

Like the separate Q2 wage price index released on Wednesday, the increase was the lowest seen since the survey changed to biannual frequency in November 2012.

For all employees – both full- and part-time – average total weekly earnings increased by a paltry 1.3% to $1,136.60.

Given CPI increased 1.5% in the year to June, collectively, real Australian weekly total earnings are going backwards.

Breaking the survey down further, full-time earnings for men increased by 2.1% to $1,593.60 while those for women gained 2.5% to $1,308.80.

In the private sector average weekly full-time earnings increased 2% to $1,454.60 while those for public sector rose by a smaller 1.7% to $1,586.60.

On an industry-specific basis mining – despite a sharp slowdown in capital expenditure – continued to have the highest average weekly full time earnings at $2,536.30 per week.

At the other end of the spectrum, accommodation and food services workers recorded the lowest average full-time weekly earnings at $1,060.80.

The breakdown of all sectors in non-adjusted terms is found in the chart below produced by the ABS.

Looking across the country, workers in the ACT, on average, recorded weekly full-time ordinary earnings of $1,707 – the highest in the country.

Tasmania, on the other hand, averaged just $1,289 per week – the lowest of all states and territories.

The survey is designed to measure the average level of earnings in Australia at a point in time, according to the ABS website.

Factors which can contribute to changes in earnings include variations in the proportion of full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees; variations in the occupational distribution within and across industries; and variations in the distribution of employment between industries, state the ABS.

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