Employment story continues positive trend; enterprise agreements still delivering

20 Dec 2018 |

The largest and most representative network for Australian businesses, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has welcomed the reduction in trend unemployment, with the rate falling from 5.2 percent to 5.1 percent in November 2018.

“In the last year we have seen increases in employment and average monthly hours that are above 20-year averages, which is a good sign for the health of the labour market,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today in response to the latest ABS data.

Despite the positive story in these figures, Mr Pearson noted that the trend underemployment rate, which measures those people who want more hours of work, is stuck.

“It will be hard to achieve stronger real wage growth without an improvement in underemployment. There is still spare capacity in the labour market. We need to encourage businesses to offer more hours of work, and to do that we need policies that encourage them to invest and to grow.

“We need to get the price of power down and make it easier for businesses to hire and manage people in the way that suits them best, rather than tangling them up in more workplace red tape.

“At the same time, we saw today that the average annual wage increase from enterprise agreements approved in the September quarter, was 3.2 percent – compared with 2.2 percent last year.

“Reports of the death of enterprise agreements are greatly exaggerated. They are alive, they are working and they are delivering wage increases above inflation, despite claims by big unions to the contrary.”

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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