6345.0 - Wage Price Index, Australia, Mar 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/05/2020   
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March Key Statistics

The seasonally adjusted WPI:
  • rose 0.5% in March quarter 2020.
  • rose 2.1% over the year to March quarter 2020, easing to a rate last recorded in June quarter 2018.

Dec Qtr 2019 to Mar Qtr 2020
Mar Qtr 2019 to Mar Qtr 2020
% change
% change

Wage Price Index (WPI)
Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses
Trend(a)
Australia
0.5
2.1
Sector
Private
0.5
2.1
Public
0.4
2.2
Seasonally Adjusted(b)
Australia
0.5
2.1
Sector
Private
0.5
2.1
Public
0.6
2.4
Original
Australia
0.4
2.2
Sector
Private
0.4
2.1
Public
0.5
2.3

(a) See Explanatory Notes paragraphs 39-40, 42. (b) See Explanatory Notes paragraphs 32-38, 42.


Sector

Seasonally adjusted:
  • The Private sector rose 0.5% over the quarter.
  • The Public sector rose 0.6% in the March quarter.


Through the year

Seasonally adjusted:
  • The Private sector rose 2.1% over the twelve months to the March quarter 2020, continuing the gradual slowing from the recent peak rate of 2.4% recorded in March quarter 2019.
  • The Public sector rose 2.4% over the twelve months to the March quarter 2020, an increase from the series-low through the year rate of growth (2.2%) recorded in December quarter 2019.

Graph Image for Quarterly changes, Seasonally Adjusted, Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses


Measuring the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the collection of Wage Price Index statistics, and will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic.

Quality assurance activities conducted on March quarter data did not identify a notable impact on survey collection operations or the quality of March quarter data, with the response to the survey at a similar level as previous quarters.

It is important to note that the reference period for the March quarter was the pay period on or before 21 February 2020, which was before a global pandemic was declared and before the impact of government restrictions on business activity and the labour market.



New ABS Website

The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider if this will affect the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au


Use of Price Indexes in Contracts

Price indexes published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) provide summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices over time. They are published primarily for use in Government economic analysis. Price indexes are also often used in contracts by businesses and government to adjust payments and/or charges to take account of changes in categories of prices (Indexation Clauses).

Use of Price Indexes in Contracts sets out a range of issues that should be taken into account by parties considering the inclusion of an Indexation Clause within a contract utilising an ABS published price index.


Frequently Asked Questions

The Wage Price Index FAQs page has answers to a number of common questions to do with price indexes and the Wage Price Index, in particular.