In March quarter 2021 labour costs continued to grow, though at the slowest rate since June quarter 2020, at 1.5%. While labour costs have steadily increased over the past 3 quarters, they remain 4.5% lower than the pre-COVID levels.
The increase in employers labour costs over the quarter were driven by the falling number of jobs eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy, reductions in the subsidy itself and wages growth, predominantly affecting the private sector.
The private sector saw a rise in labour costs of 2.0% while the public sector recorded a rise of 0.5% in March quarter 2021. The public sector rate of growth was influenced by a combination of continuing wage freezes and lower wage increases offsetting enterprise agreement driven wages growth.
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