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8% hike: The Aussie industries where wages are surging

A person removing $100 notes from a wallet.
Some sectors have been bringing in big profits during the pandemic and they're paying their employee accordingly (Source: Getty)

Low wages have been plaguing the economy and workers for years, but new data shows not all Aussie industries are refusing to dig deeper into their hip pocket.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Wage Price Index (WPI) shows that wages only rose 0.4 per cent in the June quarter.

However, its recent Business Indicators data for June shows wages in Australia's private sector rose 2 per cent in the quarter and over 8 per cent for the year.


How can this be?

Here is a dive into the data and industries that have been forking out more for their workers.

Why are wages rising?

An ABS spokesperson told Yahoo Finance that the WPI refers to hourly rates of pay and excludes bonuses.

However, Business Indicators include the hourly rate of pay, the amount of employees and bonuses.

Basically, this means that wages for the entire nation on an hourly level have only increased 0.4 per cent.

But for corporate Australia things aren’t quite the same.

“Corporate Australia was clearly cashed up and in good shape ahead of the lockdowns being applied in many regions over July and August,” CommSec chief economist Craig James said.

Corporate profits rose 7.1 per cent in the June quarter with a massive increase in the mining sector which is up over 42 per cent in a year.

The increased profits overall saw wages and salaries rise 2 per cent in the quarter. And 8 per cent in a year which is the fastest pace of growth since December 2008, James said.

This is due to a mixture of both higher wages and a rise in employment with some in need sectors hiring more people.

Top 4 industries which saw the largest wage increase

The mining industry saw profits rise 18.4 per cent and increased wages paid by 2.3 per cent for the June quarter.

The manufacturing sector actually lost profits - down 3.2 per cent but still paid out 1.2 per cent more in wages and salaries.

Construction wages rose 3.7 per cent despite a 5.5 per cent fall in profits.

For administrative and support services we saw overall profits in the sector rising over 19 per cent and wages rising 4 per cent.

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