CHART OF THE DAY: Australia, A Great Place To Be A Worker. Not So Good For Employers


Maybe Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz isn’t all wrong.

On Tuesday night, Abetz warned of a wages explosion if employers don’t get some backbone and stop caving in to union demands for higher wages.

It’s a fear that doesn’t seem backed up by any of the data, as Matt Cowgill tweeted yesterday.

Source: @MattCowgill Twitter

But while Senator Abetz might have the wrong end of the wages stick on this one, he might have actually put his finger on a key longer term problem faced by the Australian economy in a globalised world.

That is, we just get paid too much relative to our competitors. This is a situation that is shown starkly by today’s chart from the ANZ:

That’s not to say we are advocating lower wages for Australian workers, but the reality might be that for some companies and some industries, the trade-off between employment and unemployment or retraining is lower wages.

It’s a stark choice. But one being faced right now by Toyota’s Australian manufacturing workers and potentially by many more workers in the years ahead.

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