This chart provides a depressing reminder of how fast Australian wages used to grow

Nothing quite illustrates just how far wage growth has fallen in Australia in recent years than this chart from the ABS.

Source: ABS

It shows quarterly and year-on-year wage growth by individual sector in unadjusted terms.

Not even one industry recorded a year-on-year increase of more than 2.4% in the last quarter.

Now while there’s nothing wrong with the chart itself (unless you’re bemoaning just how paltry wage growth has been recently), the X-axis clearly hasn’t been updated for a few years by the ABS, leaving a somewhat depressing reminder about where annual wage growth used to be.

Oh for the days of wage growth of 3% or more.

It wasn’t all that long ago, as seen in this slightly less snazzy chart — also from the ABS — showing where wage growth sat just five years ago.

Source: ABS

Yes, just a bit higher.

However, it’s not all bad news.

Real wages — adjusted for inflation — are still in positive territory while many, including the RBA, think that wage growth has now bottomed, destined to accelerate modestly in the years ahead.

So perhaps there’s no need to tweak the X-axis on the chart just yet. Here’s hoping.

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