Australian wage growth plummets to fresh all-time low

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released its Labor Price Index for the June quarter of 2020, which revealed plummeting wage growth as COVID-19 shutdowns took effect:

According to the ABS, wages grew by just 0.22% in the June quarter. Private sector wages grew by only 0.08% over the quarter, whereas public sector wages grew by 0.58%.

Over the year, total wages grew by just 1.82%, with the private sector experiencing just 1.68% growth and public sector wages growing by 2.14%.

You can see from the next chart, which plots non-seasonally adjusted wages growth on an annual basis (in order to reduce volatility), that wages growth is soft everywhere, but is strongest in TAS (2.4%) and weakest in WA (1.6%):

In a similar vein, wages growth is weak across most industries, with Healthcare strongest (+2.4%) and Construction (+0.8%) weakest:

Wage growth will obviously remain weak as mass unemployment remains across the economy.

Leith van Onselen
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