Public servants spared entirely from COVID-19 wage pain

According to last week’s national accounts data for the September quarter, Australia’s public service workforce has been spared entirely from the COVID-19 recession that ravaged the Australian economy.

As shown in the next chart, aggregate compensation of public sector workers rose by 5.5% in the year to September, whereas total private sector employee compensation rose a pitiful 0.3%:

Since June 2015, public sector compensation has grown by 31% versus only 18% growth in private sector compensation:

Separate data from the ABS also shows that employment in the public service remained virtually unchanged in 2019-20, despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Whereas total cash wages and salaries across the public service rose by $7,245.7 million in 2019-20, representing a 4.3% increase year-on-year:

In 2020, there has been no better place to be than in the sheltered workshop of the public service.

Unconventional Economist
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