Australia’s minimum wage earners just received a 3.3% pay rise

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The 2.3 million Australians on the minimum wage have been given a 3.3% pay rise to $694.90 a week.

The Fair Work Commission says the $22.20 a week increase isn’t enough to lift all out of poverty.

“We acknowledge that the increase we propose to award will not lift all award-reliant employees out of poverty, particularly those households with dependent children and a single-wage earner,” the commission says.

“It will, however, mean an improvement in the real wages for those employees who are reliant on the NMW (national minimum wage) and modern award minimum wages and an improvement in their relative living standards.”

The commission says the rise is at a level which won’t lead to inflationary pressure and is highly unlikely to have any measurable negative impact on employment.

The national minimum wage, of $694.90 per week, pushes the hourly rate 59 cents higher to $18.29.

Nationally, wage rises are running below 2%, according to official numbers.

The commission also also decided to increase modern award minimum wages by 3.3%.

The Australian Retailers Association says the rise will stifle jobs growth.

“Today’s Minimum Wage increase of 3.3% will suppress the benefits achieved by the penalty rates reduction, negatively affecting increased trading hours for retailers and further delaying employment growth across the sector,” says executive director Russell Zimmerman.