Wages growth

Wage freeze
Wage stagnation


Tolerate unemployment, but blame the unemployed

For the last generation, macroeconomic policy in Australia has been based on the assumption that unemployment must be maintained at a certain minimum level in order to restrain wages and prevent an outbreak of accelerating inflation. Now, after six years of record-low wage growth, this...
Briefing paper

Collective bargaining “reform”: What does business want? And what would actually fix the system?

This paper compiles the various proposals advanced by employers, and shows that together, they would constitute a thorough reorientation of Australia's collective bargaining system.
Working paper

Do payroll tax cuts for Australian firms affect their use of capital and labor?

This paper studies the effects of increases in payroll tax thresholds on wages, employment and capital expenditure in Australia. The estimates within provide no evidence in favor of the hypothesis that a lower payroll tax burden increases wages, employment or capital expenditure.

Does higher superannuation reduce workers’ wages?

Despite many claims to the contrary, this paper finds there is scant empirical evidence of a causal relationship between superannuation increases and low wage growth and it suggests that increasing the Superannuation Guarantee 2.5 percentage points will give workers a share of productivity they have...
Working paper

Wage growth in Australia: lessons from longitudinal microdata

This paper uses novel microdata sources spanning 2001-02 to 2015-16 to explore the structural drivers of wage growth in Australia, with a view to better understanding recent weak wage growth – a phenomenon observed across a range of advanced economies.
Briefing paper

Update on penalty rates and job-creation: two years later

This paper shows that employment growth in retail and hospitality has been far slower than in other parts of the economy (where penalty rates remained constant) and job-growth in the two sectors actually slowed by more than half after penalty rates began to fall.
Briefing paper

Kick-starting wage growth: what the Commonwealth government could do now

This briefing note shows that just three specific actions by the Commonwealth government would lead to a significant rise in national wage growth, adding over $10 billion per year to aggregate wage income within three years.
Briefing paper

Estimating wage trends from personal income tax data

This analysis of income tax data confirms a dramatic slowdown in Australian wages in recent years – and the slowdown is worse than previous statistics indicated.

The extent and causes of the wage growth slowdown in Australia

This paper pulls together the various sources of data available for wage growth in Australia and examines the reasons offered for slowing in wage growth provided by a range of organisations.
Discussion paper

Is declining union membership contributing to low wages growth?

This paper concludes that trends in unionisation rates are unlikely to have contributed materially to the decline in wages growth in recent years. It is important to note that this conclusion is limited to only the most direct channel in which unions influence wages -...
Briefing paper

Private sector wage growth still in doldrums

This briefing note reviews the data on average wage and salary levels in the private sector.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Have wages grown steadily and outstripped inflation over the past decade?

Jobs and Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer claims that wages have grown steadily over the past decade, rising by 30 per cent and outstripping inflation at 20 per cent.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Are company profits growing five times faster than Australians' wages?

Opposition finance spokesman Jim Chalmers claims that company profits have grown five times faster than Australians' wages.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Have wages grown in five years under the Coalition only as much as they did in one year under Labor?

Despite the Turnbull Government predicting a rise in pay packets, former treasurer Wayne Swan says real private sector wages have grown just one per cent across the five years since the Coalition assumed office in 2013, and claims Labor achieved an equiva

The permanent detour: underemployment's long-term effects on the careers of college grads

The rapidly changing world of work presents a flurry of unanswered questions for us all. Take underemployment, which refers to people working in jobs for which they are overqualified. This topic has garnered attention over the years, with researchers illuminating how one in three Americans...
Briefing paper

Historical data on the decline in Australian industrial disputes

This resource outlines how, across the national economy, work stoppages have become extremely rare – and the extraordinary discretionary ability of industrial authorities to restrict or prevent industrial action is an important reason why.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: Is wages growth now the lowest since records began?

Labor's 10-year plan for the economy, released a month before the election, claims wages growth in 2016 is the lowest it has been since records began.
Fact sheet

Fact Check: How fast are wages, productivity really growing in Australia?

The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ged Kearney, claims wages in Australia have been at their lowest rate of growth in decades and labour productivity is the highest it's been in decades.