Annual wage growth increases to 3.7% in March quarter 2023

Media Release

The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.8 per cent in March quarter 2023, and 3.7 per cent annually, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Leigh Merrington, ABS acting head of prices statistics, said: “Annual wages growth of 3.7 per cent is the highest since September quarter 2012, reflecting low unemployment, a tight labour market and high inflation”.

The private sector was the main driver of growth, with wages increasing 0.8 per cent over the March quarter 2023 and annually by 3.8 per cent. Mr Merrington said: “A number of private sector industries have recorded annual wages growth above 4 per cent, with the remaining industries all above 3 per cent annual growth.”

The public sector recorded the highest quarterly (0.9 per cent) and annual (3.0 per cent) wage growth for the sector in a decade. Enterprise agreement bargaining outcomes, together with regular scheduled rises and higher wage caps drove the increase in public sector wages.

In recent times, there has been a growing share of jobs receiving larger wage rises and a falling share receiving smaller wage rises.

Mr Merrington said: “Wage outcomes over the March quarter 2023 saw a continued lift in the share of jobs receiving wage rises of between 4 and 6 per cent, which is the highest share since 2009. The share of jobs with a wage rise of 2 per cent or less has fallen from over 50 per cent in mid-2021 to less than 20 per cent.”

In original terms, quarterly wage growth across industries ranged from 0.1 per cent for the Accommodation and food services industry to 1.5 per cent for the Education and training industry.

Annual wage growth was lowest in the Public administration and safety industry (2.9 per cent) and highest in the Wholesale trade and Other services industries (4.4 per cent), marking the largest annual rise in over a decade.

Further information can be found in Wage Price Index, Australia available for free download.

Media notes

  • To learn more about different measures of wages change, their purpose and how to use them, see our Earnings guide. It provides summary information on our various earnings measures including the Wage Price Index.
  • When reporting ABS data, you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • The Wage Price Index publishes estimates of the change in hourly rates of pay for a representative set of jobs across the public and private sectors.  The Wage Price Index is unaffected by changes in the number of people working, the hours worked, or changes to who is in the job.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
Back to top of the page