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6345.0 - Labour Price Index, Australia, Dec 2007 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2008   
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COMMENTARY


SECTOR

The seasonally adjusted increase through the year to December quarter 2007 for the Private sector (4.3%) exceeded the Public sector (4.1%) for the first time in five years. The through the year change for the Private sector was the highest recorded since the series commenced in 1997.



STATE

In original terms, the state with the largest change through the year was Western Australia (5.9%), followed by South Australia (4.9%). The lowest rates of change through the year were reported for New South Wales, Victoria and the Northern Territory (all 3.9%).



INDUSTRY

In original terms, the industries with the highest rates of increase for the December quarter 2007 were Retail trade (2.1%) and Communication services (2.0%). The lowest rates of increase were reported for Personal and other services (0.5%), Education (0.6%) and Cultural and recreational services (0.6%).



NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES

The Australian Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) has had responsibility for setting Federal Minimum Wage rates since early 2006. The first decision by the AFPC had a date of effect of 1 December 2006 and it mostly impacted upon the March quarter 2007 wage price index figures. The second AFPC Federal Minimum Wage decision had a date of effect of 1 October 2007 and has mostly impacted the wage price index figures this quarter.



SEASONALLY ADJUSTED WAGE ESTIMATES

Ongoing industrial relations changes, including the date of effect of the AFPC decisions and changes in the timing of wage increases have affected the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates for the wage price index. In calculating the seasonally adjusted estimates, the ABS applied both a trend and a seasonal break to the September quarter 2006. Trend estimates continue to be unavailable from that time. For further details, see paragraphs 37-45 of the Explanatory Notes.


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