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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Labour >> Changes in the price of labour

Changes in the price of labour are derived from quality adjusted average hourly rates of pay (excluding bonuses) of a representative sample of employee jobs. These data are compiled to form the WCI, which is published by the ABS each quarter. The WCI is a 'pure' price index which measures changes over time in wage and salary costs in the Australian labour market. The WCI is unaffected by changes in the quality and quantity of work performed.

As shown in table 6.48, increases in the indexes for total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses varied across sectors and across states and territories. In the 12 months to March 2002, public sector wages grew at 3.4% and private sector wages grew at 3.1%. The percentage growth (from the corresponding quarter of the previous year) of public sector wages has been higher than the growth in private sector wages since the March quarter 2000.

For the states, the highest annual percentage increase in wages from the March quarter 2001 to the March quarter 2002 was recorded by Victoria (3.4%) and the lowest was recorded by Western Australia (2.8%). Tasmania recorded the smallest annual growth in the private sector WCI (2.8%), although it recorded the largest growth in the public sector WCI (4.3%).


6.48 TOTAL HOURLY RATES OF PAY EXCLUDING BONUSES, By sector

Index numbers(a)
Percentage change from corresponding quarter of previous year

State/territory
March
quarter 2001
June
quarter 2001
September
quarter 2001
December
quarter 2001
March
quarter 2002
March
quarter 2002

PRIVATE

New South Wales
112.0
112.7
114.2
114.9
115.6
3.2
Victoria
111.1
112.1
113.6
114.2
114.9
3.4
Queensland
110.7
111.1
112.1
113.1
113.9
2.9
South Australia
110.5
111.0
112.2
113.1
114.1
3.3
Western Australia
111.9
112.8
113.4
114.2
115.1
2.9
Tasmania
109.3
109.8
111.0
111.7
112.4
2.8
Northern Territory
109.5
109.7
111.3
112.1
112.7
2.9
Australian Capital Territory
111.6
112.1
113.6
114.2
115.0
3.0
Australia
111.4
112.1
113.4
114.1
114.9
3.1

PUBLIC

New South Wales
114.1
114.5
115.6
116.1
117.9
3.3
Victoria
111.7
112.7
113.6
114.1
115.6
3.5
Queensland
112.9
114.2
115.6
115.9
116.5
3.2
South Australia
112.7
113.0
113.8
116.1
116.8
3.6
Western Australia
111.2
111.5
112.5
113.4
114.5
3.0
Tasmania
109.8
111.2
112.5
112.9
114.5
4.3
Northern Territory
111.7
111.7
112.1
115.5
115.8
3.7
Australian Capital Territory
110.0
110.3
112.0
112.7
113.1
2.8
Australia
112.6
113.3
114.4
115.1
116.4
3.4

ALL SECTORS

New South Wales
112.5
113.1
114.5
115.2
116.1
3.2
Victoria
111.2
112.2
113.6
114.2
115.0
3.4
Queensland
111.2
111.9
113.0
113.9
114.6
3.1
South Australia
111.1
111.6
112.6
113.9
114.8
3.3
Western Australia
111.8
112.5
113.2
114.0
114.9
2.8
Tasmania
109.5
110.3
111.5
112.1
113.1
3.3
Northern Territory
110.3
110.5
111.6
113.3
113.9
3.3
Australian Capital Territory
110.6
111.0
112.6
113.3
113.8
2.9
Australia
111.7
112.4
113.6
114.4
115.2
3.1

(a) Base of each index: September Quarter 1997 = 100.0.

Source: Wage Cost Index, Australia (6345.0).


For Australia, the annual wages growth to March 2001 was greater than the annual growth to March 2002 (3.7% compared to 3.1%). In both periods, annual wages growth for Professionals (4.3% to March 2001 and 3.5% to March 2002) was greater than the growth for other occupations. As shown in graph 6.49, in March 2002 Advanced clerical and service workers (2.4%) and Elementary clerical and service workers (2.5%) recorded the lowest annual growth rates.

Graph - Total hourly rates of pay(a), By occupation(b)



Annual growth by industry is shown in graph 6.50. Although the annual growth rate of the WCI was lower to March 2002 than for the previous year for some industries, the rate of growth in wages increased in Mining, Electricity, gas and water supply, Finance and insurance, Health and community services, and Personal and other services.

For the 12 months to March 2002, Electricity, gas and water supply had the highest rate of wages growth (4.6%). Transport and storage had the lowest rate of wages growth, of 2.4% for the 12 months to March 2002.

Graph - 6.50 Total hourly rates of pay(a), By industry(b)



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