Release type: Joint Media Release


Wages grow faster than inflation in September quarter


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

New ABS data today shows real wages increased 0.1 per cent in the September quarter, the second consecutive quarterly increase.

The Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 1.3 per cent in the September quarter to be 4.0 per cent higher through the year. This is the highest quarterly growth in the 26-year history of the WPI and the fastest annual growth since 2009.

While there will be some volatility in quarterly data, Treasury also expects annual real wages to return to growth in early 2024.

Hardworking Australians deserve higher wages and that’s what we’re delivering.

We believe that solid, sustainable wages growth is part of the solution to the cost-of-living challenges Australians face, not part of the problem.

Under the Albanese Government, wages have been growing at an annualised average of 4.0 per cent, almost double the average under our predecessors.

Stronger wages growth is a result of the Albanese Labor Government’s policies to lift wages for workers including our support for record increases to the minimum wage, a 5.75 per cent pay rise for workers on awards, the highest ever pay rise for aged care workers, our big investments in education and
training, and significant investments in new industries to create secure, well-paid jobs.

This Government supports higher wages for Australian workers. It’s why we passed our Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation last year, to get wages moving again and improve conditions, by bringing workers and
employers back to the bargaining table.

This year’s Closing Loopholes Bill before the Parliament is focussed on closing the loopholes that undercut workers’ wages, conditions, and safety.

The Liberals and Nationals spent a decade in government deliberately keeping wages down. Peter Dutton and the Coalition – now in Opposition – still want to keep wages low.

It’s why they’ve voted against every measure to get wages moving in this country and are opposing the Government’s Closing Loopholes legislation.

While we welcome progress on wages growth, we know that many Australians are under pressure from inflation and higher interest rates.

While annual inflation continues to moderate, higher fuel prices from global oil production cuts have been putting upward pressure on inflation and are expected to make inflation more volatile in the near term.

That’s why the Albanese Government’s number one priority is dealing with the inflation challenge and providing cost-of-living relief.

The Reserve Bank and the Australian Bureau of Statistics have confirmed that our $23 billion 10-point cost-of-living plan is directly reducing inflation – with our policies on child care, electricity and rents taking half a percentage point off inflation in the September quarter.

We seek wages growth that is strong and sustainable, and an economy that is more productive, competitive and inclusive.

We’ll continue to do what we can to deliver the kind of strong, sustainable wages growth that Australian workers need and deserve.