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6345.0 - Labour Price Index, Australia, Dec 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2005   
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DECEMBER KEY FIGURES

Sep Qtr 2004 to Dec Qtr 2004
Dec Qtr 2003 to Dec Qtr 2004
% change
% change

Wage Price Index (WPI)
Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses
Seasonally Adjusted
Australia
1.0
3.6
Sector
Private
0.9
3.3
Public
1.3
4.2
Original
Australia
1.0
3.6
Sector
Private
0.9
3.5
Public
1.1
4.2

WPI-Quarterly changes, Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses
Graph: Wage Price Index quarterly changes - Seasonally adjusted and original

WPI-Annual change: original, Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses - For selected industries
Graph: Wage Price Index annual changes - Selected industries



DECEMBER KEY POINTS


TOTAL HOURLY RATES OF PAY EXCLUDING BONUSES

QUARTERLY CHANGES (SEP QTR 2004 TO DEC QTR 2004)

  • The index for all employee jobs in Australia increased by 1.0%, seasonally adjusted.
  • The increases in the indexes (in original terms) at the industry level ranged from 0.6% for Manufacturing and Property and business services to 1.6% for Government administration and defence.
  • The increases in the indexes (in original terms) at the occupation level ranged from 0.9% for Managers and administrators, Associate professionals and Intermediate production and transport workers to 1.5% for Labourers and related workers.

ANNUAL CHANGES (DEC QTR 2003 TO DEC QTR 2004)
  • The seasonally adjusted increase through the year to December 2004 for all employee jobs in Australia was 3.6% (in trend terms, 3.5%).
  • Increases in the original indexes through the year to December 2004 at the industry level ranged from 2.7% for Accommodation, cafes and restaurants to 5.5% for Construction, compared with 3.6% for all industries.


NOTES

ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Original indexes are compiled for various combinations of state/territory, sector (private/public), broad industry group and broad occupation group. Seasonally adjusted and trend indexes are only compiled for total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses for the private sector, public sector and all sectors. Indexes not included in this publication may be made available on request by telephoning Perth (08) 9360 5151.



CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

A new appendix containing a summary of the annual non-wage and labour price indexes has been added to the publication. The full set of indexes is constructed and published in November each year as part of the September quarter Labour Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6345.0).



FURTHER INFORMATION

More detailed information on the Labour Price Index (LPI) is available in Information Paper: Labour Price Index, Australia 2004 (cat. no. 6363.0) and Labour Price Index, Concepts, Sources and Methods, Australia (cat. no. 6351.0.55.001).



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Tim Landrigan on Perth (08) 9360 5151.



COMMENTARY


WAGE PRICE INDEXES

Safety Net Review (SNR)

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission handed down its latest SNR decision on 5 May 2004. As indicated in the September quarter 2004 issue of this publication (Labour Price Index, Australia), all states and territories handed down decisions to pass on the same increase to workers being paid under the relevant Awards within their jurisdictions. The date of effect of the pay increases varied across the states and territories but with all except Queensland being sufficiently early to be passed on by at least some of the businesses concerned in time to be recorded in the September quarter 2004 wage price index. The date of effect in Queensland was 1 September 2004, which was after the reference period for the September quarter 2004 wage price index (i.e. the pay period ending on or before 20 August 2004). The outcome is that pay increases under the SNR have flowed on more fully in the December quarter 2004 in all states and territories, including Queensland. It is not possible to determine the relative contribution of the SNR to the increase in the wage price index in either the September or the December quarters.


Timing of pay changes

Award-based increases generally continue to occur with similar timing each year. However, Collective Agreements are showing evidence of changed timing. This is because new agreements are often not put in place until after the anniversary of the increases paid under previous agreements due to delays in the negotiation process (even though actual pays could be backdated to the previous anniversary in some cases).


Index movements

Public sector

The new South Australian Government (Public Sector Salaried Employees) Salaries Award was ratified at a time that resulted in some, but not all, jobs concerned to contribute to increases in the December quarter 2004 wage price index. The remaining jobs will contribute to increases in the March quarter 2005 wage price index


Construction industry

The recent growth in the Construction industry index has continued this quarter with a through the year movement of 5.5%. The index represents only those jobs undertaken by wage and salary employees of selected employers. Subcontractors not paid through an employer's payroll systems are outside the scope of the WPI and so changes in subcontractor prices are not reflected in the Construction industry index.


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