Annual wage growth highest in three years

Alex Druce
(Australian Associated Press)


Hourly pay rates across Australia rose 0.6 per cent in September quarter, meeting expectations, and have now increased 2.3 per cent over the past 12 months for the highest annual growth rate in three years.

Public sector hourly rates of pay lifted 0.6 per cent in the quarter and 2.5 per cent over the year, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Private sector workers received a 0.5 per cent increase in the quarter and 2.1 per cent over the year.

The September quarter result was in line with economist expectations, but seemingly below what traders expected, with the Australian dollar dipping in reaction to the data, from 72.35 to 72.21 US cents.

“There was a higher rate of wage growth recorded across the majority of industries in comparison to this time last year, reflecting the influence of improved labour market conditions,” ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said.

In original terms, annual growth to the September quarter 2018 ranged from 1.8 per cent for the mining and retail trade industries to 2.8 per cent for the healthcare and social assistance industry.

The Reserve Bank has been scanning the economy for signs of stronger wages growth before it considers raising interest rates.


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