Wages rose just 0.4 per cent in the June quarter, a figure much lower than experts had anticipated, according to official figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
“The June quarter saw the rate of growth in hourly earnings ease to 0.4 per cent, following two quarters of 0.6 per cent wage growth,” said ABS head of prices statistics Michelle Marquardt.
The meagre quarterly growth comes at “one of the lowest rates recorded for the series,” she added.
“Apart from a few isolated examples of skills shortages placing pressure on employers to meet expected market rates, the private sector wage growth recorded over the quarter (0.5 per cent) was generally subdued.”
Are lockdowns to blame?
Yes and no. With many businesses struggling, it’s not a surprise that bosses wouldn’t be able to boost employee wages – but some sectors are still profiting and still not boosting pay packets.
With international, and at times state and territory, borders closed, Lowe had hoped this would encourage businesses to increase pay. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to have happened.
Incentives over pay
A recent Seek.com.au report found that the modern workplace has changed, and what was once considered a workplace perk is now standard practice at many Aussie companies.
And while workplace perks are enjoyed, many bosses have been offering them instead of increasing pay.
For business owners, it seems simple: offer more money, or allow staff to work from home occasionally at no cost to the business?