Unemployment rate down, but where is our pay?

Unemployment rate down, but where is our pay?

Australia’s workplace rules are broken and must be changed so people can get pay rises that can get them on top of the cost of living.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures show that while the unemployment rate is lower than it has been since 2013, Australian wages have barely grown in real terms. The price of essentials have increased much faster than the wage. Yet people are still not getting the pay rises they need to pay for the basics of life.

Under our current workplace rules people don’t have the power they need to win fair pay rises, so even as the unemployment rate drops, wages aren’t going up.

Wage growth, which traditional economists associate with lower unemployment, is stuck around 2 percent – while key living costs like housing, transport, energy and utilities rise much faster.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Australia needs a pay rise, but even with a lower unemployment rate working people don’t have the power to win fair pay rises at work.

“Today’s ABS release shows that the current workplace rules, even with a lower unemployment rate, aren’t providing working people with the power to win pay rises.

“We need to change the rules so that working people aren’t left behind while company owners and the very rich are allowed to take more than their share.”