Wages rise 0.5% seasonally adjusted

Wages growth lower than expected nationally despite reviews and minimum pay call

Wage growth figures due on Wednesday may leave employees wondering if they should also be paid more.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), indicated "quarterly wages growth in the range of 0.4 to 0.6 per cent for the last 13 quarters (from the June quarter 2014)", meaning that the minimum wage rise had virtually no material impact on overall wage growth.

The annual growth rate has been sitting at 1.9 per cent over the past year, the lowest level in at least 20 years, and only just ahead of inflation at 1.8 per cent.

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Australian wages accelerated by less than expected in the third quarter, despite a bump in minimum wages that economists had expected to lift the pay packets of around a quarter of workers.

The bulk of wage growth came from the public sector, which grew by 2.4 per cent over the past year. The retail sector, for example, saw wage growth slow from 1.8 percent y/y in Q2 to 1.6 percent in Q3.

Data on Tuesday showed that US producer prices increased by in October, exceeding expectations for a 0.1% uptick.

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Western Australia recorded the lowest through the year wage growth of 1.3 per cent and Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania the highest of 2.2 per cent.

Callum Pickering, APAC economist at Indeed, said today's report makes it hard to justify the need for higher interest rates in Australia.

And he doesn't expect there'll be any meaningful improvement in wage growth for some time yet. "But there remains a high degree of slack in the labour market and that keep wage growth relatively low for the foreseeable future", he says.

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