Wage growth welcome, but challenges remain

20 Feb 2019 |

Australia’s largest network of businesses, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has welcomed new figures showing annual wage growth in the private sector is at the highest level in four years.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics Wage Price Index showed a private sector increase of 0.6 percent in the December quarter, lifting the annual rate to 2.3 percent – the highest since December 2014,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“This is above the rate of inflation of 1.8 percent and the Bureau’s Living Cost Index for Employee Households at 1.9 percent.

“The stronger figure out today is a sign that economic growth is seeing a tightening of the labour market and businesses in a better position to lift the wages of their staff.

“We reject the ACTU claim that the latest official figures are a sign of the wage “system breaking down”.

“Average wage growth above inflation is a sign of economic health and continues the upward trend in wage increases since the middle of 2017.

“But we know there are challenges ahead. The Reserve Bank has revised down forecasts for economic growth in its February Statement on Monetary Policy, citing weaker household consumption and increasing downside risks in the global economy.

“In this election year, we encourage the major parties, and the cross-bench, to focus on policies that will support businesses to succeed and provide jobs and opportunities in both the short and long-term.”

The Australian Chamber is Australia’s largest network of employers, speaking for over 300,000 businesses providing jobs to millions of Australians in every sector of the economy.

Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

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