6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2019 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/08/2019   
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MEDIA RELEASE
15 August 2019
Embargoed: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Growth in average wages increases

The average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults in Australia in May 2019 was $1,634 (trend), according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

Average full-time earnings increased by $27 (1.7 per cent) over the previous six months and by $48 over the year (3.0 per cent).

Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS, said: "This latest compositional data points to a pick up in average earnings growth."

Mr Hockman said that this latest data comes after a period of low growth in average weekly earnings, which partly reflected the growing number of lower earning workers in the services sector, including aged care, childcare and disability care workers.

Over the past five years, average full-time earnings remained highest in the ACT ($1,811) and Western Australia ($1,780), and lowest in Tasmania ($1,420) and South Australia ($1,475). The highest increases in average full-time earnings over the five years were in the Northern Territory (18.1 per cent) and Victoria (16.0 per cent), which were both well above the increase in the average for Australia (12.3 per cent).

Picture showing AWE for May 2014, May 2019 and the percentage increase for each state and territory.

Further details are available in Average Weekly Earnings, May 2019 (cat. no. 6302.0), available for free download from the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au.

Media notes:
  • Percentage movements in average weekly earnings can be affected by changes in both the level of earnings per employee and in the composition of the labour force. Factors which can contribute to compositional change include variations in the proportion of full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees; variations in the occupational distribution within and across industries; and variations in the distribution of employment between industries.
  • Estimates of percentage change have been calculated using unrounded estimates and may be different from, but are more accurate than, movements obtained from calculating percentage changes using the rounded estimates presented in this publication.
  • Please ensure when reporting on ABS data that you attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact ABS Media on 1300 175 070 or at media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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