Wage growth figures across Australia have continued to rise closer to the levels recorded prior to the start of the covid-19 pandemic. This trend has occurred despite covid lockdowns still occurring across most of the eastern cost of Australia during the September quarter when the data was collected.

The latest figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that wages increased by 0.6 percent during the September 2021 quarter. These figures were a 2.2 percent increase when compared to the figures from the year prior recorded during September 2020.

“Wage and salary reviews around the end of the financial year, scheduled enterprise agreements and annual award rises all contributed to growth. Pockets of wage pressure continued to build for skilled construction-related, technical and business services roles, leading to larger ad hoc rises as businesses looked to retain experienced staff and attract new staff,” said Michelle Marquardt, the head of prices statistics at the ABS.

The ABS can reveal that lawyers are one of the professions who are currently experiencing the most significant pay rise. Competition is increasing for junior lawyers. As a result of this it is not just Australia where lawyers are in demand. A large number of Australian solicitors are deciding to move overseas to countries like the UK and the USA to fill a large number of vacancies in the profession, this consequently is triggering a brain drain locally in Australia. 

Over the past 12 months, growth in the private sector through the year increased by 2.4 percent, continuing the pattern of increases in annual growth since the series low in September quarter 2020.

The public sector through the year growth rose 1.7 percent, the first increase in the rate after slowing in each quarter since March quarter 2020.

Private sector wages rose 0.6 percent in September quarter 2021 in line with pre-pandemic September quarters. The September 2021 quarter saw more employers conducting salary reviews than observed at the same time last year, when covid-19 had a bigger influence on business operations. Small, isolated pockets of demand across a number of industries saw larger increases paid to attract and retain experienced staff.

Wage growth for the public sector rose to 0.5 percent and has continued to track below the private sector since September quarter 2020. This quarter saw a return to regular scheduled increases after a period of public sector wage freezes.

Payroll Jobs Increase as Lockdowns Are Lifted

Recently published figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that payroll jobs rose during the first half of October 2021.

According to the data published by the ABS payroll roses increased by 1.3 percent during the first fortnight of October, following a decrease of 0.5 percent during the previous fortnight.

Bjorn Jarvis, who is the head of labour statistics for the ABS, explained that the figures coincided with lockdowns and other restrictions starting to ease across certain states.

“During the latest fortnight there were noticeable differences in week-to-week changes, which reflected changes in lockdown conditions and seasonal changes around the end of the school holidays,” says Bjorn Jarvis head of labour statistics for the ABS.

According to the figures, the changes in payroll jobs over the past fortnight for the other five states and territories ranged between a 0.4 percent rise in Queensland to a 0.4 percent fall in Tasmania.

“Almost every industry saw a rise in payroll jobs across the fortnight to mid-October, with the largest rises seen in Accommodation and food services (up 5.6 per cent) and Arts and recreation services (up 4.8 percent). These rises mainly reflected recovery in these industries in New South Wales, which accounted for 95.3 per cent and 92.6 per cent of the nationwide increases,” said Mr. Jarvis.

“Between late June and early October, NSW had seen payroll jobs losses of more than 10 per cent in six of the 19 industries. As restrictions eased, there was rapid recovery in payroll jobs, particularly in Construction and in Retail,” continued Bjorn Jarvis.

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Post Author: Craig Dangar

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