Annual wage growth lifts to 3.3% in December quarter 2022

Media Release

The seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.8 per cent in December quarter 2022, and 3.3 per cent annually, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Michelle Marquardt, ABS head of prices statistics, said: "The increase in hourly wage rates for the December 2022 quarter was lower than the increase for the September quarter (0.8 per cent compared to 1.1 per cent).  It was, however, higher than any December quarter increase across the last decade. This follows on from the September and June 2022 quarters which were also higher than their comparable quarters back to 2012.  In combination these quarterly increases have resulted in the highest annual growth in hourly wages since December quarter 2012.”

Private sector wage growth over the quarter (0.8 per cent) was slightly higher than in the public sector (0.7 per cent). However, consistent with the September quarter 2022, annually, wage growth in the private sector (3.6 per cent) has remained significantly higher than the public sector (2.5 per cent).

The proportion of private sector jobs recording wage increases in December quarter 2022 was 21 per cent, slightly lower than the 23 per cent from the same quarter in the previous year. The average hourly wage change for this subset of jobs was 4.0 per cent, notably higher than the 2.8 per cent recorded in the same quarter in 2021.

In original terms, quarterly wage growth across industries was highest in the Accommodation and food services industry (1.7 per cent) and lowest in the Administrative and support services industry (0.3 per cent).

Annual wage growth was highest in the Wholesale trade industry (4.2 per cent), its highest growth since December quarter 2012. The Education and training industry recorded the lowest annual growth in wages (2.4 per cent).

While not affecting the hourly earnings measured in the WPI, changes recorded in employment levels and hours worked within the labour market can influence average earnings. These changes will be reflected in Average Weekly Earnings released tomorrow, Thursday 23 February 2023.

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 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).

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