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Latest release

Wage Price Index, Australia

The Wage Price Index measures changes in the price of labour services. It is unaffected by changes in the labour force composition

Reference period
March Quarter 2020
Released
13/05/2020
Future releases
  • Wage Price Index, Australia
    Next Release 12/08/2020
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    Next Release 18/11/2020
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    Next Release 24/02/2021
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Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 0.5% this quarter.
  • The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 2.1% over the year to March 2020.
  • The seasonally adjusted Private sector rose 0.5% this quarter.
  • The seasonally adjusted Public sector rose 0.6% this quarter.

Main features

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 2020Mar 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 on the Methodology page.
b. See Explanatory Notes paragraphs 32-38, 42 on the Methodology page.
 

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.
     
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Commentary

​​​​​​​Main contributors

State and territory contributors were:

  • New South Wales,
  • Queensland, and
  • Victoria.
     

Industry contributors were:

  • Education and training, and
  • Health care and social assistance.
     

Wage growth by state or territory

Original estimates:

  • Queensland recorded the highest quarterly rise of 0.6%.
  • Tasmania and the Northern Territory recorded the lowest quarterly rise of 0.3%.
  • Victoria recorded the highest through the year rise of 2.5%.
  • Western Australia recorded the lowest through the year rise of 1.8%.
  • On a through the year basis, Western Australia has reported rates of growth below 2.0% since June quarter 2016.
     
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Wage growth by industry

Original estimates:

  • Education and training recorded the highest quarterly rise of 0.9%.
  • Construction, Retail trade, Accommodation and food services and Administrative and support services recorded the same lowest quarterly rise of 0.2%.
  • Health care and social assistance recorded the highest through the year rise of 3.0%.
  • Information, media and telecommunications recorded the lowest through the year rise of 1.6%.
     
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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.

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.

Data downloads - time series spreadsheets

I-Note

The wage price indexes in Tables 1, 2b, 3b, 4b, 5b, 7b, 8b and 9b are updated and released every quarter. The corresponding financial year wage price indexes in Tables 2a, 3a, 4a, 5a, 7a, 8a and 9a are updated and released each June quarter for the preceding financial year. There are no financial year indexes created for Table 1.

Table 1. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: sector, original, seasonally adjusted and trend

Table 2a. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: all sectors by state, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 2b. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: all sectors by state, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 3a. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: private sector by state, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 3b. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: private sector by state, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 4a. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: public sector by state, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 4b. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: public sector by state, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 5a. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: sector by industry, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 5b. Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: Sector by industry, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 7a. Hourly rates of pay including bonuses: sector, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 7b. Hourly rates of pay including bonuses: sector, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 8a. Ordinary hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: all sectors by state, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 8b. Ordinary hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: all sectors by state, original (quarterly index numbers)

Table 9a. Ordinary hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: sector by industry, original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Table 9b. Ordinary hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses: sector by industry, original (quarterly index numbers)

All WPI series: original (quarterly index numbers)

All WPI series: original (financial year index numbers for year ended June quarter)

Data downloads - data cubes

63450. Distribution of expenditure on wages, Wage Price Index, Australia