6345.0 - Wage Price Index, Australia, Dec 2018 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/02/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE
20 February 2019
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)
98/2019
Wages rise 0.5% in the December quarter 2018


The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.5 per cent in December quarter 2018 and 2.3 per cent through the year, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said: "The seasonally adjusted, quarterly rise of 0.5 per cent continues an extended period of moderate hourly wage growth. Annually, private sector wages rose 2.3 per cent and public sector wages grew 2.5 per cent."

Annual rates of growth in the private sector have been lower than those recorded for the public sector over the last four years, though Mr Hockman noted: "Annual private sector wage growth was the highest recorded for this sector since December quarter 2014."

In original terms, annual growth to the December quarter 2018 ranged from 1.6 per cent for the Information Media and telecommunication services industry to 2.8 per cent for the Electricity, gas, water and waste services and Health care and social assistance industries.

Western Australia once again recorded the lowest through the year wage growth of 1.6 per cent while Victoria recorded the highest of 2.7 per cent.

The November 2018 average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia will be released on Thursday 21 February at 11:30 am in Average Weekly Earnings, November 2018 (cat. no. 6302.0).

Further information is available in Wage Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6345.0), available for free download from the ABS website: https://www.abs.gov.au/.

Media notes:

  • When reporting ABS data, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) must be attributed as the source.
  • The Wage Price Index as reported in cat.no. 6345.0, publishes estimates of the change in hourly rates of pay, unaffected by changes in the composition of the labour force. The survey of Average Weekly Earnings (6302.0) can be affected by changes in both the level of earnings per employee and in the composition of the labour force.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30 am - 5pm Mon-Fri).
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