Annual wages growth slows to 4.1% in March

But annual real wages growth grew by 0.5%

Annual wages growth slows to 4.1% in March

Australia's annual wages growth slowed in the March quarter of 2024 but remained above the four-per-cent mark for the third consecutive quarter, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The Wage Price Index (WPI) annually rose 4.1% in the March quarter of 2024, slightly slower than the previous 4.2% annual increase.

Despite this, the WPI's annual wages growth remained above the four per cent in the past three quarters, with the September quarter of 2023 reaching four per cent.

"The last time wages growth was at this level for three consecutive quarters was March quarter 2009," said Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, in a statement.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Annual real wages also expanded 0.5% in the year to the March 2024 quarter, according to the Australian government.

"Annual real wages are now growing even more strongly after falling dramatically under the former government," said Treasurer Jim Chalmers in a statement. "This wages growth is welcome, but we know people are still under pressure."

Quarterly increase in wages

Meanwhile, the WPI rose 0.8% in the March quarter, the smallest quarterly rise for hourly wages since the December quarter of 2022.

Quarterly, the private sector outpaced with public sector after a 0.8% growth, higher than the public sector's 0.5%.

"The public sector wage increase was the smallest since March quarter 2022 when it was also 0.5%," Marquardt said.

"Last year's March quarter result for the public sector reflected the implementation of new enterprise agreements and changes to wage caps. Many jobs covered by these new agreements also saw scheduled rises paid in either the September or December quarters last year instead of in March quarter 2024."

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