6345.0 - Wage Cost Index, Australia, Sep 2003
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/11/2003
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SEPTEMBER QUARTER 2003 KEY FIGURES
SEPTEMBER QUARTER 2003 KEY POINTS
INDEXES OF TOTAL HOURLY RATES OF PAY EXCLUDING BONUSES
Quarterly Changes (Jun Qtr 2003 to Sep Qtr 2003)
Annual Changes (Sep Qtr 2002 to Sep Qtr 2003)
In this commentary the change in the indexes between a quarter and the same quarter in the preceding year, such as from the September quarter 2002 to the September quarter 2003, is referred to as the change "through the year" to September quarter 2003.
INFLUENCES ON THE WCI
The Safety Net Review decision was handed down by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission on 6 May 2003. The Safety Net Review is applicable to workers on federal awards. The May decision was for a pay increase of $17 per week for workers on $731.80 per week or less and $15 for workers on more than $731.80 per week. All equivalent state and territory Commissions also passed on the same increases to those awards within their jurisdiction. The date of effect in Queensland was 1 September 2003 which was after the reference period for the September quarter WCI (the pay period ending or before 15 August 2003) but in all other states and territories the date of effect was prior to this reference date. As a consequence, the Safety Net Review decision has resulted in increases in September quarter 2003 for some employees paid under relevant awards in those states and territories. It is not possible to assess its relative contribution to the rise in the WCI in the September quarter.
The change through the year to September quarter 2003 for the public sector for Australia as a whole was 4.7% in both the original and seasonally adjusted series. The primary reason was an increase in an award covering a substantial part of the NSW sector. The change through the year for the NSW public sector was 6.7% (in original terms) and this is the largest annual movement for the NSW public sector that has been recorded in the WCI.
The pay mechanisms behind the increases in the private sector were fairly evenly spread between certified agreements, award based increases (with the Safety Net Review a prominent part) and salary reviews. In the public sector, certified agreements and awards were responsible for about two-thirds and one-third respectively of jobs having pay increases.
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) 93605151.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
The experimental seasonally adjusted wage cost indexes previously published in Appendix 2 are now considered as being of a suitable standard for ABS publication purposes and so the "experimental" label has been removed. The seasonally adjusted and trend indexes for total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses are presented in Table 1 for each of the private and public sectors and for all sectors. The seasonal factors used are likely to be revised when original estimates become available for subsequent periods. Paragraphs 28 to 35 of the Explanatory Notes provide more details about the seasonally adjusted and trend wage cost indexes. The other tables have the same contents as in past issues but they have been renumbered.
CHANGES IN NEXT ISSUE
In April 2000, the ABS released an information paper, ABS Statistics and The New Tax System (cat. no. 1358.0), which foreshadowed changes in the statistical infrastructure supporting the compilation of ABS economic series. The main change impacting on the Wage Cost Index will be the introduction of the Australian Business Register, maintained by the Australian Taxation Office, to provide details of the business population from which to select the sample of businesses.
This publication presents the last release of estimates from the Wage Cost Index compiled using the old infrastructure. In the next release of this publication, estimates for the latest period will be compiled on the new basis. However, this will not introduce any discontinuities into the WCI.
An information paper, Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0), was released on 6 May 2002. That paper described the changes in more detail and provided information about the treatment of statistical impacts of the changes across ABS economic series.
More detailed information on the Wage Cost Index is available in Information Paper: Wage Cost Index, Australia, 2000 (cat. no. 6346.0).
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