Wages in Australia Rising Due to Tight Labor Market Situation

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said today that wages in Australia rose in Q421 as a rapidly tightening labor market led to intense competition for labor. However, annual growth remains below the level that policymakers believe would support a rate hike.

The ABS announced that its wage index rose 0.7% in the fourth quarter, the largest increase since the end of 2013.

The annual wage rate rose to 2.3%, but was below the expected 2.4%, which put downward pressure on the Australian dollar. Private sector wages increased by 2.4%, while public sector wages rose by 2.1%.

Wage increases have returned to mid-2019 levels and remain below the 3%+ mark required to keep inflation within its target range, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

The wage rate is also lower than the consumer price index (CPI) of 3.5%.

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