Data from the biennial Employee Earnings and Hours survey shows while there were 40,000 more casual jobs added over the past two years, wages have barely risen in real terms.
This is evidence of the persistent problem of insecure work in Australia. The newly-casualised jobs come at a time when many people working casually want more job security. They’re in addition to people working part-time being unable to get the hours they need, those in labour hire arrangements, on fixed-term contracts and in the gig economy.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that over the two years to May 2018, average pay rises only amounted to 4.7 percent – barely above inflation. During the two years to June 2018, company profits rose 36 percent.
This put average pay rises – for those people who got them – well behind the increases in the main living costs like housing, utilities, transport, health and education costs in the same period.
The data also shows that one in ten adults employed full-time were paid less than $925 a week before tax, and one in two were paid less than $1500 before tax.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus
“Working people need fair pay rises and more secure jobs, but the Morrison Government is incapable of delivering them.
“This data shows that casual work – which is often not the choice of the worker but forced by the employer – is on the rise, and people aren’t getting the pay rises they need to stay on top of living costs.
“The Abbott/Turnbull/Morrison Government, who were in charge of the country for the entire time the release covers, don’t have a plan for fair pay rises, and they don’t even understand that insecure work is a problem.
“We need to change the rules so working people have the rights they need to get fair pay rises and greater job security.”