National wages grew by 1.3% during July, August and September, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The ABS’ Wage Price Index (WPI) tracks changes in the hourly wages earned in a range of jobs selected to represent the whole economy.
The figure is the highest recorded in a three-month period in the 26-year history of the WPI. It was slightly higher than price growth of 1.2% over the same period.
Why wages grew
The ABS attributed the 1.3% increase for the quarter to a combination of factors, including rising inflation and increases to the minimum wage, which came into effect on 1 July.
Salary increases in aged care, the removal of state wage caps and new enterprise agreements coming into effect across the public sector also contributed to higher wages.
While wages have grown over the last year, the price of what people typically buy with their wages has grown, too.
The annual wage growth of 4.0% from September 2022 to September 2023 was lower than the level of price growth, 5.6%.
Australians might be earning more money, but these figures suggest their money is buying less than
what it did a year ago.
The WPI measures changes in the price of labour.
However, it doesn’t factor in fluctuations in worker numbers, hours worked, or short-term shifts in the types of jobs people have.