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Millions of Aussies get pay boost

Aussies working in small and medium-sized businesses have finally received a pay increase.

People walking and Australian money. Savings account concept. Pay increase.
Aussies working in SMEs received a pay increase in December, according to new data. (Source: Getty)

Aussies working in small and medium businesses (SMEs) received a long-awaited pay increase in December, following two months of stagnation.

According to Employment Hero’s analysis of more than 220,000 SMEs and more than 1.9 million Aussie employees, wages grew by 1.2 per cent in December to reach $35.42 per hour, on average.

Year on year, wages grew 8.2 per cent. That means Aussie wage growth is now outpacing the current rate of inflation for SME workers, Employment Hero said.

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“We can confidently say that, once again, Australian wages are not lagging behind inflation, they have outpaced it,” Employment Hero founder and CEO Ben Thompson said.

“In December, we hit the highest rate of inflation since 1990, with CPI rising 7.8 per cent over the past 12 months, whilst our data shows median hourly wages grew by 8.2 per cent over the same period.”

Aussies in the ACT saw the biggest increases to wages, rising 2.9 per cent, month on month. This was followed by NSW workers at 2.1 per cent. Victorian small business workers saw the smallest pay increases at 0.1 per cent.

However, increases did not flow through to under-18s or 18-24-year-olds, who experienced a decline of 7.5 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

At the same time, hiring among SMEs declined, month on month, with employee growth dropping by 0.3 per cent.

Industries with the biggest wage growth

Wages grew across all industries, month on month, Employment Hero found, with workers in the science, information and technology sector experiencing the biggest increase.

Here’s how wages grew in December:

  • Science, information and communication technology - 3.6 per cent increase to $59.10/hour

  • Construction and trade services - 2.7 per cent increase to $38.10/hour

  • Manufacturing, transport and logistics - 2.3 per cent increase to $35.80/hour

  • Health care and community services - 0.8 per cent increase to $40.20/hour

  • Retail, hospitality and tourism - 0.5 per cent increase to $30.90/hour

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