08 May 2018

The latest Department of Jobs and Small Business Trends in Enterprise Bargaining report shows private sector agreement pay increases for the December 2017 quarter have hit their second lowest level in 25 years. 
No wonder the Government has been silent about the release of the data.
According to the latest data, private sector enterprise agreement wage rises in the December 2017 quarter are at 2.6 per cent, down from 3.0 per cent in the December 2016 quarter. 
Every quarter in 2017, wage increases for private sector agreements were under 3 per cent – including a 25 year record low of 2.4 per cent in the September quarter. 

This now makes it the worst year of private sector agreement wage increases for the last 25 years. 
Wage rises for the public sector for the December 2017 quarter were at 2.3 per cent, compared to 3.2 per cent in the December quarter 2016.  
The average annualised wage increase for federal enterprise agreements for the December quarter 2017 at 2.5 per cent is down from 3.1 per cent in the 2016 December quarter.
Malcolm Turnbull continues to preside over consistently low wages growth and he has no plans to deal with this serious problem.
Labor understands that dwindling bargaining power of workers and their representatives, which the Government is facilitating, is a central part of subdued wages growth and rising inequality. The data released today is more confirmation, if any was needed, of this link.

The largest wage increases came in the construction industry, which has a high union presence and wage rises over 4 per cent. 
Labor is seriously concerned that rather than addressing consistently flat wages growth, the Turnbull Government is so out of touch, they are supporting cuts to the penalty rates of Australia’s lowest paid workers.

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