THE resource industry recorded the lowest quarterly rise in wages growth of any Australian industry over the September quarter 2016, also marking the lowest quarterly gain since the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey first began in 1997.

Wage growth in the industry, categorised by the ABS as ‘mining’, increased by 0.1 per cent with wage prices in 2015-16 slowing to 1.6 per cent compared to 2.3 per cent in 2014-15 and 2.8 per cent in 2013-14.

Private sector wages grew by just 0.405 per cent over the quarter, again the lowest level on record.

Across all industries, the seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.4 per cent in the September quarter. Through the year to the September quarter, the WPI has risen 1.9 per cent, a new low for the series.  However, annual wage prices are still annually outperforming CPI at 1.3 per cent.

Annual Wage Increases in approved agreements, % change in ABS Wage Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) – June 2013 to June 2016

Annual Wage Increases in approved agreements, % change in ABS Wage Price Index (WPI) and Consumer Price Index (CPI) – June 2013 to June 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia and the ABS, the main driver behind the recent fall in the WPI is due to significantly less people receiving annual wage growth more than four per cent.

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AMMA principal adviser – economic and industry policy, Tristan Menalda, said that with the overall downturn in commodity markets, it is unsurprising that wage growth had slowed in the resource industry.

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“While during the height of the resources commodity and construction ‘boom’ in 2012 at least 60 per cent of resource industry employees received wage increases greater than four per cent, today less than 10 per cent of resource employees are receiving that level of wage increase,” Mr Menalda said.

“We are also seeing ex-mining employees transition into other industries on a base wage approximately 40 per cent less then what they were on before, and are now receiving annual wage rises in the range of two-three per cent.

“Looking forward, even with attractive monetary policy conditions such as low interest rates, wage prices are forecast to remain relatively low.”

For more information, please contact Tristan Menalda on [email protected] or via (03) 9614 4777.