Tomorrow’s minimum wage increase win for women, part time workers and heroes of pandemic

Australian Treasury

Around 2.8 million Australians are about to get the pay rise they need and deserve – because the Albanese Labor Government fought for it.

New numbers released today show the biggest beneficiaries will be women and part‑time workers.

This week’s minimum wage increase is a win for the many hardworking Australians who’ve kept our communities and our economies going during the worst of the pandemic.

This pay rise recognises those sacrifices and the unique challenges in our economy.

The cost of living crisis has a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable workers, living paycheque to paycheque.

The majority of Australians benefiting from this increase are women (1,571,100 or 59.1 per cent, compared to 1,088,300 or 40.9 per cent men).

Almost two‑thirds are part‑time workers (1,665,400 or 62.6 per cent, compared with 994,000 or 37.4 per cent full time workers).

The beneficiaries per state and territory are:

  • New South Wales ‑ 1,048,000 or 39.4 per cent
  • Victoria ‑ 546,100 or 20.5 per cent
  • Queensland ‑ 466,900 or 17.6 per cent
  • South Australia ‑ 227,200 or 8.5 per cent
  • Western Australia ‑ 234,200 or 8.8 per cent
  • Tasmania ‑ 75,900 or 2.9 per cent
  • Northern Territory ‑ 22,000 or 0.8 per cent
  • Australian Capital Territory ‑ 39,400 or 1.5 per cent

The top three industries with workers who stand to benefit are health care and social assistance (586,400 or 22.1 per cent), accommodation and food services (517,600 or 19.5 per cent), and retail trade (333,000 or 12.5 per cent).

With inflation at 21‑year highs and real wages falling, many Australians are experiencing acute cost of living pressures.

We don’t want to see low‑paid workers go backwards.

That’s why the first decision of the new Albanese Labor Cabinet was to agree our submission to the Fair Work Commission recommending that Australians get a decent minimum wage increase.

Many low‑paid workers are young, female, in casual employment, and are far more likely to find themselves experiencing financial hardship.

The previous government deliberately kept wages as low as they could.

That era is now over for cleaners, for carers, for shop assistants – and for the other heroes of the pandemic who put themselves on the line to keep Australia functioning over the last two and a half years.

Workers know they now have a Government that will show up and fight for them.

We are proud to have helped secure a pay rise beginning this week for Australians who need it the most.

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