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6345.0 - Labour Price Index, Australia, Dec 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2010   
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COMMENTARY


AUSTRALIA/SECTOR (TREND)

In the December quarter 2009, the Private sector wage price index rose by 0.6% compared to 1.0% for the Public sector, with the All sectors index recording a quarterly movement of 0.6%. The All sectors quarterly movement of 0.6% was the lowest in the history of the series and was the fourth quarter in a row where a quarterly movement below 1.0% was recorded.

Public sector movements were greater than the Private sector for both the quarter and the year through to December quarter 2009. The difference between the Public sector through the year change (4.2%) and the Private sector through the year change (2.6%) was the greatest in December quarter 2009 since the commencement of the series in September quarter 1997.


STATE/TERRITORY (ORIGINAL)

The highest quarterly movement was recorded by the Northern Territory (1.2%) and the lowest by New South Wales (0.4%). Through the year increases ranged from 2.4% for South Australia to 3.7% for both Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.

The Private sector for each state and territory recorded a lower quarterly increase in the December quarter 2009 than in the December quarter 2008. The lowest quarterly increase in the Private sector in the December quarter 2009 was recorded by New South Wales (0.4%). The highest quarterly increase was recorded by Victoria and Tasmania (0.8%).

In New South Wales and Victoria, the Private sector December quarter 2009 through the year movement was the lowest recorded since the commencement of the series.

In the Public sector, the Northern Territory recorded the highest quarterly and through the year movements of all states and territories in the December quarter 2009 (2.2% and 4.8% respectively). Tasmania recorded the lowest quarterly movement (0.3%). The lowest through the year movement in the December quarter 2009 for the Public sector was 2.9% in South Australia.


INDUSTRY (ORIGINAL)

In the December quarter 2009, Electricity, gas, water and waste services recorded the highest All sectors quarterly movement of any industry (1.2%). Accommodation and food services; Rental, hiring and real estate services; and Professional, scientific and technical services recorded the lowest quarterly movement (all 0.2%).

Increases through the year ranged from 1.9% for Accommodation and food services; Rental, hiring and real estate services; and Administrative and support services to 4.0% for Transport, postal and warehousing.

The Private sector quarterly change for each industry in the December quarter 2009 was lower than that recorded in the December quarter 2008. The through the year movements continued to indicate an easing in wages growth in the Private sector.

In the Public sector, quarterly movements in the December quarter 2009 ranged from 0.4% for Professional, scientific and technical services to 1.3% for Electricity, gas, water and waste services.


NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES

There has been some variation in the date of effect and timing of Australian Fair Pay Commission Wage Setting Decisions. The 2006 decision had a date of effect of 1 December 2006, and its impact was seen in the March quarter 2007 wage price index. The 2007 and 2008 decisions each had a date of effect of 1 October and affected the December quarter wage price index in those years.

In July 2009 the Australian Fair Pay Commission decision was to make no change to minimum wage rates. Therefore, the wage increases that might have been expected to affect the December quarter 2009 wage price index did not occur.


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