Wages Rising at Slowest Rate
18 May 2015 at 10:19 am
Australian wages are rising at their slowest pace since records began, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
The figures show that wages rose by 0.5 per cent in the March quarter, with an annual rate of increase of 2.3 per cent.
Shadow Minister for Employment, Brendan O’Connor, said the slow rising wages were a problem that would be compounded by the latest Federal Budget.
“Flat lining wages growth is being exacerbated by an unacceptably high unemployment level, which the Budget forecasts to soar to 6.5 percent, and stay higher longer than previously forecast,” O’Connor said.
“Also concerning, the Budget forecasts wage increases to only match inflation over the next 12 months.
“Low wages growth is impacting upon the living standards of working Australians, as their wages struggle to keep pace with the cost of living.
“On top of a swathe of unfair measures in the Budget, wages are growing at a glacial pace, completely contrary to Minister Abetz’s claim that Australia risked a ‘wages explosion’.”
O’Connor said last year’s Budget had negatively affected business confidence.
“This is not set to change with the second Budget as most of the unfairness lives on, including cuts to the Family Tax Benefit, $100,000 university degrees, $80 billion of cuts to health and education, and an unrelenting will from the Government to decrease the minimum wage,” he said.
“This short-sighted Budget does absolutely nothing to stall sliding wages growth, or address high unemployment.”
Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, said the Government would be focusing on boosting jobs growth, particularly youth employment.
“In the first 18 months of the Government around a quarter of a million new jobs were created — but there is more work to do,” Abetz said.
“New measures will focus on making job seekers more employable, reducing the costs of taking on new staff, and bringing job seekers and employers together.
“The Growing Jobs and Small Business package will assist employers to employ young Australians.
“It delivers incentives targeted to employers and young job seekers transitioning from school to work.
“Through the $1.2 billion national wage subsidy pool, eligible employers will receive up to $6,500 if they hire an eligible young job seeker under 30 years of age.”