Workers’ real wages grow more in past year than under 10 years of the Coalition

Media Release - May 15, 2024

The ACTU welcomes today’s Wage Price Index data by the ABS which showed that real wages have grown by as much in the past year as under nearly a decade of Coalition Government. This comes as early childhood educators from the United Workers Union spoke today about the importance of a pay rise, welcoming the announcement in yesterday’s Budget that the Albanese government will make provisions for funding a pay increase for early childhood educators and care workers.

The figures released today showed wages grew by 4.1% in the 12 months to March 2024.

It is the first time there has been 3 consecutive quarters of wage growth with a 4 in front of it since late 2008.

Total real wage growth increased by 0.5 percent in March 2024, which is the same amount in one year that real wages increased in total over a decade of the Coalition Government.

The data captures the 12-month period following the government backing the ACTU case for the biggest minimum wage increase in a generation, their backing a 15% pay increase for aged care workers, and reform of workplace laws, including the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation, and the Closing Loopholes legislation.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Today is a good day for working people’s wages. We heard from early childhood educators who spoke about the importance of the Budget’s commitment to a pay rise for their sector – and now the ABS figures confirm that the Albanese government has achieved more real wage growth for all workers in the past year than the Coalition did in 10 years.

“The Labor Government was elected on a platform of getting wages moving, so it’s critical for workers to see this turnaround after a decade of seeing frozen real wages.

“The wage growth figures released today are a result of workers and their unions bargaining and campaigning for wages to rise as well as the commitment by the government to pass new laws strengthening people’s rights at work.”

The ACTU Network

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