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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
September Quarter 2019
Released
13/11/2019

Key statistics

  • The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 0.5% this quarter.
  • The seasonally adjusted WPI rose 2.2% over the last twelve months.
  • The seasonally adjusted Private sector rose 0.5% this quarter.
  • The seasonally adjusted Public sector rose 0.5% this quarter.

Main features

September key figures

   Jun Qtr 2019 to Sep Qtr 2019Sep Qtr 2018 to Sep Qtr 2019
   % change% change
Wage Price Index (WPI) Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses Trend(a)  
 Australia
0.5
2.2
 Sector  
  Private
0.5
2.2
  Public
0.6
2.5
Seasonally Adjusted(b)  
 Australia
0.5
2.2
 Sector  
  Private
0.5
2.2
  Public
0.5
2.5
Original  
 Australia
0.8
2.2
 Sector  
  Private
0.9
2.2
  Public
0.7
2.5
a. See Explanatory Notes paragraphs 39-40, 42.
b. See Explanatory Notes paragraphs 32-38, 42.
 
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September key points

Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses

Quarterly change (Jun qtr 2019 to Sep qtr 2019)

  • The seasonally adjusted index for Australia rose 0.5% in the September quarter 2019 and the trend index rose 0.5%.
  • In seasonally adjusted terms, both the Private and Public sector rose 0.5%.
  • The highest index rise at an industry level (in original terms) was recorded in Accommodation and food services (1.6%) and the lowest quarterly rise in Finance and insurance services (0.2%).
     

Annual change (Sep qtr 2018 to Sep qtr 2019)

  • The trend and seasonally adjusted indexes for Australia both rose 2.2% through the year to the September quarter 2019.
  • In original terms, rises through the year to September quarter 2019 at the industry level ranged from 1.7% for Information, media and telecommunications services to 3.2% for Health care and social assistance.

Commentary

Wage price indexes

Australia/sector (original)

In September quarter 2019 the Private and Public sector indexes rose 0.9% and 0.7% respectively. The All sectors quarterly rise was 0.8%.

The All sectors through the year rise to September quarter 2019 was 2.2%, the Private sector rose 2.2% and the Public sector rose 2.5%.

September quarter wage growth is mainly influenced by regularly scheduled enterprise agreement increases, end of financial year salary reviews for individual arrangements, and modern awards receiving increases as a result of the Fair Work Commission Annual Wage Review (3.0% in the 2018-19 decision).

State/territory (original)

In September quarter 2019, Tasmania recorded the highest quarterly rise of 1.3%. Western Australia recorded the lowest quarterly rise of 0.7%.

Rises through the year ranged from 2.8% for Victoria to 1.6% for Western Australia. This is the fifth consecutive quarter of 1.6% through the year growth in Western Australia.

In the Public sector, New South Wales recorded the highest quarterly rise of all the states and territories (1.3%). South Australia recorded the lowest rise of 0.2%.

Through the year, Victoria recorded the highest Public sector rise of 3.6%, while Western Australia recorded the lowest (1.1%).

Industry (original)

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Wage growth in Health care and social assistance was the main contributor to the September quarter 2019 Australian level index increase.

In the Private sector, Accommodation and food services, Public administration and safety and Health care and social assistance industries recorded the highest growth over the quarter (1.7%). Financial and insurance services recorded the lowest quarterly rise of 0.2%.

In the Public sector Education and training recorded the lowest quarterly wages growth of 0.3% while Health care and social assistance, Public administration & safety and Professional, scientific and technical services recorded the highest at 1.0%.

Rises through the year in the Public sector ranged from 2.0% for the Education and training to 3.3% for Health care and social assistance.

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).

Prices Indexes and Inflation contains a page Use of Price Indexes in Contracts that sets out a range of issues that should be taken into account by parties considering including an Indexation Clause in a contract using 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 references

Data referenced in the Key Points and Commentary are available from the tables shown in this publication or in the corresponding tables of this publication on the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.

Inquiries

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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