The latest labour account survey released by the Bureau of Statistics revealed that while job growth remains solid and the job vacancy rate is at record levels, workers real incomes remains at best flat.
The March quarter GDP figures show that while the economy is growing strongly, workers are missing out of their fair share.
The release of the March Wage Price Index confirms what a horror year it has been for workers. While inflation in the past 12 months rose 5.1%, wages grew just 2.4%. Even worse, in the past year the price of non-discretionary items rose 6.6%, meaning for those on low wages, who spend more of their incomes on essential items, real wages would have fallen even more than the 2.6% average fall.
Every three months the Bureau of Statistics releases the lesser-known cousin of the consumer price index. It’s called the Wage Price Index (WPI) and it records changes in the overall level of wages, in the same way the price index records changes in the overall level of consumer prices.
The current election campaign has seen the two major parties put forward housing policies, both of which to varying degrees are aimed at the demand side of the equation.
This week the election campaign has turned to discussion about the increase to the minimum wage, with suggestions that an increase either in line with the curent rate of inflation of 5.1% or marginally above it (such as the ACTU’s proposal of a 5.5% increase) would bring about a return to 1970s style wage sprials.
Today the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese was asked about wages in the following exchange: Journalist: “You said that you don’t want people to go backwards. Does that mean that you would support a wage hike of 5.1% just to keep up with inflation? Anthony Albanese: “Absolutely”. Any other response would be to suggest that real
For most of the past decade the talk about housing affordability has focussed on house prices. As fiscal policy director, Greg Jericho notes in his Guardian Australia column, falling interest rates since November 2010 have made paying off a mortgage less onerous than it otherwise would have given the soaring house prices.
The March CPI figures showing that inflation rose 5.1% over the past 12 months is not just the highest level since the introduction of the GST it also signals the biggest fall in real wages since then as well.
In the week before the election campaign began the IPCC released its latest report that contained warnings that deep, rapid and sustained emissions reductions are needed to prevent temperatures from rising 1.5C or 2C above pre-industrial levels.
Business groups and conservative media are happy to discuss insecure work as if it is nothing new – stable and part of a healthy economy that provides workers with independence. But this is not the case, with insecure forms of work – casual, gigs, temporary work and short-term contracts – taking up a growing share of jobs in Australia.
The election campaign thus far has been dominated with gotcha questions that unfortunately have missed the vital need to examine the different policies on offer at a time when Australia’s economy is in a state of extreme flux.
The more than a decade long period of the Reserve Bank going without raising interest rates looks set to end. Rising inflation and the unwinding of the pandemic restrictions and border closures means that the emergency cash rate of 0.1% will soon go up. But at the moment the market expects before the end of next year that it will rise to above 3%.
This year’s budget was transparently targeted towards the May election.
The federal government’s budget would have us believe that the cost of living is a sudden problem because of higher oil prices. But the real reason people are feeling the pinch is because their real wages are going backwards. The budget forecasts wage growth of 2.75 per cent in 2021-22, below inflation which is forecast
The 2022-23 budget is one of the most shameless election year budgets in memory.
Next Tuesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will deliver the 2022-23 budget. As it is only 2 months from the next federal election, the budget will be even more politically charged than usual.
Since the stimulus measures introduced in 2020 to prop up the housing market during the pandemic, house prices have exploded. In 2021 property prices across Australia’s capital cities rose an astonishing 24%. Combined with the stagnant wages growth of the past 8 years, housing affordability has fallen dramatically.
The latest Labour Account figures from the Bureau of Statistics reveal that at the end of last year a record percent of people were working more than one job.
While the headline news of 3.4% GDP growth in the December quarter of 2021 might suggest the economy is bouncing back, Greg Jericho, Policy Director for the Centre for Future Work, has found that the national accounts reveal just how badly workers are missing out.
The latest wages data from the Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2021 real wages plummeted, with inflation raising by 3.5%, while wages increased just 2.3%.
For the first time in a decade the coming election will be at a time of increasing inflation and talk of rising interest rate. And while it is clear interest rates are always a political hot potato, Greg Jericho writes in his latest Guardian Australia column that we should not lose sight of the need for government support.
Australia’s unemployment rate is poised to hit its lowest level in a half-century, and this has been heralded by the current government as an economic triumph. But the unemployment rate depends on many factors (including labour supply, hours of work, and others), and does not by itself assure that the economy is maximising its potential.
Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 4.2% in December, and it could fall further (below 4%) in the coming year, barring further waves of COVID or other global shocks. This has some forecasters predicting a quick acceleration in wage growth — which has been stuck for almost a decade now at the slowest pace in Australia’s postwar history.
Will an unemployment rate with a 3 in front it, ensure that we also get wage growth with a 3 in front of it? Don’t count on it.
With the rise in inflation as Australia’s economy struggles with re-opening and supply chain problems, each release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) generates headlines and political debate. But the CPI doesn’t necessarily provide a full reading of price pressures: depending on who you are, and what you buy. In this column published in the Guardian Australia, Greg Jericho (new policy director for the Centre for Future Work) dissects several measurement issues related to this most-watched economic statistic.
Australians are getting a stark reminder about how value is actually created in an economy, and how supply chains truly work.
The great resignation is apparently upon us — workers are walking away from bad jobs. But in Australia, the exodus of women from the workforce says more about structural barriers than worker empowerment.
Australia paid a big price for the over reliance on insecure jobs prior to the pandemic. But as our economy recovers, insecure jobs account for about two out of every three new positions. In this commentary, originally published on New Matilda, Economist Dan Nahum explains why that’s a very bad thing – especially in front-line, human services roles. In the context of COVID-19, the effects of insecure work in these sectors, in particular, reverberate across the whole community with dangerous and tragic consequences.
Over time, insecure work has become more prevalent in the Australian economy. Key drivers of worsening job quality include: decades of economic policies which constructed unemployment “buffers”; insufficient paid work available for all who need it; reductions in the level of unemployment benefits to below-poverty levels, collapse in collective bargaining coverage, and failure to regulate insecure work.