Full-time earnings return to solid growth

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 16-Aug-19

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on 15 August that full-time employees are earning an average of $1634.80 a week for ordinary time work. This represents an increase of 3.1 per cent for the year to May, and compares to an increase of 2.7 per cent for the previous year. Professor Mark Wooden from Melbourne University noted that with the CPI at 1.5 per cent, weekly earnings are well above inflation. By way of contrast to the average earnings data, the wage price index (WPI) has remained at 2.3 per cent for the first half of 2019.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Public servants set the pace in race for pay rise

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 15-Aug-19

The Australian Bureau of Statistics advised on 14 August that overall wages had increased by 0.6 per cent in the June quarter. Public sector wages rose by 0.8 per cent, while private sector wages were up by just 0.5 per cent. For the year to June, public sector wages were up by 2.6 per cent, while private sector wages rose by 2.3 per cent. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe had stated on 9 August that federal and state governments should lift caps on public sector wages; he claimed the caps were impeding general salary increases. However, his calls to lift caps were attacked by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE

New wage deals push 3pc pay rises

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 2-Aug-19

Data from the Attorney-General’s Department shows that public sector enterprise agreements that were approved in the March quarter included wage increases of 2.4 per cent, while wages growth under private sector agreements was 2.7 per cent. However, the data excludes 29 per cent of new agreements because they featured ‘non-quantifiable’ wage increases. They included enterprise agreements for Woolworths and David Jones employees, which link pay rises to increases in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW, DAVID JONES LIMITED, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, BUPA AGED CARE, THE AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE LIMITED. CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK

Labor reckless, irresponsible for public sector wage call

Original article by Richard Ferguson, Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 4 : 31-Jul-19

Shadow financial services minister Stephen Jones says the federal government should stimulate the economy and wages growth by increasing salaries in the public sector. He argues that the government is a major employer and it should "lead by example" in boosting wages. His comments follow the release of Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey data, which highlights the low growth in average income since the global financial crisis. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann contends that public sector employees receive "reasonable and affordable" pay rises via workplace bargaining.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF FINANCE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ACTU, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. INSTITUTE OF APPLIED ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH

More of us endure extended pay freeze

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Jul-19

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s analysis of wage price index data shows that the size of wage increases and the frequency of pay rises has declined since 2013. The RBA’s Natasha Cassidy notes that there has also been a significant increase in the proportion of workers who have been subject to a wage freeze of at least 12 months. Meanwhile, ACTU secretary Sally McManus has criticised the Treasury over research which suggested that the reluctance of workers to change jobs has contributed to low wages growth.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY

Lower taxes can lift growth and wages

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 2 : 17-Jul-19

The University of Melbourne’s John Freebairn argues that reducing the tax rate for larger companies would stimulate economic growth and help to increase wages. He adds that a tax cut for large companies with non-resident shareholders in particular would boost GDP growth. The federal government has ruled out further attempts to introduce tax cuts for businesses with annual turnover of more than $50m following the bill’s rejection by the Senate.

CORPORATES
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ECONOMICS SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

Don’t expect pay rises, warn 40pc of CEOs

Original article by Matthew Cranston, John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 16-Jul-19

The Executive Connection’s latest survey of CEOs shows that more than 37 per cent expect their employees to receive no pay rise in 2019, or at best an increase of no more than two per cent. A third of respondents expect pay rises of 2-3 per cent, and 14 per cent expect wages to increase by at least four per cent. Meanwhile, 66 per cent have indicated that they are either adopting or considering flexible working conditions to attract and retain top staff, while 30 per cent are seeking to reduce labour costs by investing in automation.

CORPORATES
THE EXECUTIVE CONNECTION PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, HUNGRY JACK’S PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB

Stubborn workers keep lid on wages

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 16-Jul-19

Analysis by the Treasury suggests that the reluctance of workers to leave unproductive companies has been a major contributor to Australia’s low wages growth. Treasury’s deputy secretary Meghan Quinn says the research shows that there is a link between the frequency of job switching and higher real wages, including for people who stay in their existing job. The national rate of job-switching is now about eight per cent, compared with 11 per cent in the early 2000s.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, ECONOMIC SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Mining wages hit boom-time highs

Original article by Peter Ker
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 15-Jul-19

Research by BDO Remsmart shows that wages for a number of jobs in the mining sector have risen above the peaks seen during the last resources boom. Western Australia in particular is seeing a surge in mining industry wages, as BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group invest in new iron ore mines. Factors such as stricter rules on the use of foreign labour, declining enrolments in university mining courses and investment in new infrastructure projects on the east coast are also putting upward pressure on wages. The demand for staff has prompted some mining companies to hire WA School of Mines students up to 18 months before they graduate.

CORPORATES
BHP GROUP LIMITED – ASX BHP, RIO TINTO LIMITED – ASX RIO, FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED – ASX FMG, BDO REMSMART, CURTIN UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY. SCHOOL OF MINES

Signs that wage rise pick-up is under way

Original article by Matthew Cranston, David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 4 : 10-Jul-19

A number of large Australian companies have struck new enterprise agreements which include pay rises that are higher than the current level of wage growth. Some employers in sectors such as retailing and fast food are seeking to increase wages in line with the latest increase in the minimum wage. Meanwhile, Andrew Hanson of recruitment firm Robert Walters says the outlook for the economy and business conditions during the first half of 2019-20 means that more highly-skilled employees are unlikely to receive a significant pay rise.

CORPORATES
ROBERT WALTERS PTY LTD, McDONALD’S AUSTRALIA LIMITED, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ, HUNGRY JACK’S PTY LTD, BIG W DISCOUNT STORES, KMART AUSTRALIA LIMITED, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, BWS – BEER WINE SPIRITS, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED – ASX NAB, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED