Australia hasn’t had a pay rise since 2009, according to the Household Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) survey, released today.
In 2009 the median disposable income for an entire household adjusted for inflation was $79,160 in 2016 dollars. In 2016 – the latest year of HILDA data available – the median household income was $79,244.
In some areas, like regional centres in WA and Hobart, real median household income has gone backwards more than 10% over the same period.
Meanwhile key living costs like housing, gas, electricity, transport, childcare and private health insurance have blown out and are forcing many working people to go without – almost 30,000 full time workers are now homeless.
Nearly three in ten children born between 2000 and 2007 experienced more than a year of poverty in their first ten years of life
The same report shows that many Australians – particularly young people, can’t get enough work to get by. About 42 percent of people 15-19 and more than 47 percent of people between 20 and 24 say they would work more hours if they could.
Wage growth has remained at near–record lows since the Abbott/Turnbull Government came to power, and has recently dropped to 0% in real terms.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“Australia hasn’t had a pay rise in real terms since 2009. Working people need fair pay rises to get on top of the cost of living.
“Our current rules make it too hard for people to get fair pay rises and they are struggling to support themselves and their families.
“The Turnbull Government has cut wages through penalty rate cuts, refusing to back a significant increase in the minimum wage, failing to act to close the Gender Pay Gap, and allowing insecure work to engulf entire sectors of the economy.
“We need to remove the restrictions on worker’s rights to negotiate decent wage increases. We must give working people the job security they need to fight for better pay and conditions.
“The Turnbull Government promised jobs and growth but is standing in the way of Australian workers getting either.
“To stop the wage crisis we need to change the rules and give the power back to working people.”