The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.7 per cent in March quarter 2022 for the second consecutive quarter, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The rate of annual wage growth was 2.4 per cent, up from 2.3 per cent last quarter, the highest annual rate recorded since December 2018. Michelle Marquardt, head of Prices Statistics at the ABS, said “The annual rate of wage growth has risen for each of the last five quarters from a low point of 1.4 per cent in December quarter 2020.”
Wage rises across the private sector were the main driver of growth over the quarter, increasing 0.7 per cent for March quarter 2022 and annually 2.4 per cent. Regular annual wage and salary reviews drove wage growth for the sector, with a small number of larger increases paid to retain and attract in-demand skilled workers.
Public sector wages grew 0.6 per cent for March quarter 2022 and annually 2.2 per cent.
“Wage growth is influenced by both the size of changes in hourly wage rates and the proportion of jobs recording a change.” Ms Marquardt said.
“In March quarter 2022, the average size of private sector hourly wage rises increased to 3.4 per cent, the highest quarter increase since June 2013. The proportion of jobs recording these rises (15 per cent) returned to pre-pandemic March quarter levels, following higher than usual increases in the proportion of private sector jobs receiving a wage increase in the March quarter last year. March quarter last year was affected by the staggered implementation of award wage increases following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review 2019-20.”
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In original terms, the rate of quarterly wage growth across industries ranged from a low of 0.3 per cent for the Electricity, gas, water and waste services, Retail trade, and Accommodation and food services industries, to 0.8 per cent for the Administrative and support services, Education and training, and Arts and recreation services industries. Annual wage growth also varied by industry, from 1.5 per cent for Electricity, gas, water and waste services, to 3.1 per cent for Rental, hiring and real estate services.
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania all recorded the highest quarterly rates of wage growth (0.6 per cent) while Tasmania and Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest rates of annual wage growth (2.8 per cent). Northern Territory recorded both the lowest rates of quarterly (0.3 per cent) and annual wage growth (1.9 per cent).
The ABS would like to thank all those businesses for their continued support in responding to our surveys.