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wage price index

Wage growth falls below 2%

Feel like you’re treading water when you look at your pay slip?

Depending on where you work, that may be exactly what’s happening to you, according to the latest statistics. 

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday 15 November show that Australian wage growth has fallen below 2% a year for the first time since records started. 

It now sits at 1.9% - lower than it was at the time of the Global Financial Crisis. 

With inflation now running at around 1.7% (depending on what measure you use), Australian workers are- on average – barely staying ahead of the game.  Some, obviously won’t even be doing that. 

Commentators have pointed to the end of the mining boom as a major contributor to such figures. But longer term influences are also at work, not least being the attacks on workers’ bargaining power by conservative governments over the last two decades.

These range from the increased restrictions placed on industrial action in the Howard years to the current government’s public sector bargaining policy, which requires workers to trade-off conditions for meagre pay increases.

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