Wages in Australia are growing at a solid and sustainable pace, with no signs of the wages breakout employers have spent all year warning about.

New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today shows that far from what employers have been claiming, wages growth continues to be modest and manageable.

The Wage Price Index increased by 0.7% in the September quarter, and 3.6% over the previous 12 months.
Yearly growth is in line with its long-term average of 3.6%, while quarterly growth is slightly below average. This is also the same as the rate of inflation.

“Far from a wages breakout, workers are struggling to keep up with rises in the cost of living,” said ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence.

“What we are seeing is steady, solid and sustainable increases in wages.

“The facts are that the wages share of national income is now 53.1%, close to the lowest it has been for almost 50 years, while the profits share of 28.1% is close to the all-time high.

“Since this time last year, employer groups have been screaming that a wages breakout was imminent, but there is no evidence this has occurred.

“Employer groups have absolutely no credibility any more on wages.

“Once again, employers have been caught out spreading myths and untruths, just as they constantly do about productivity and the nature of Australia’s industrial relations system.

“This occurred again last week when the Government agreed to make a joint submission with unions to lift the woeful levels of low pay in the social and community sector.

“Yet no sooner had that announcement been made than employer groups were screaming that the agreement would lead to a wages breakout.

“The only wages breakout is in the offices of Australian CEOs, where some outrageous bonuses and pay rises have been awarded.”