Australian Wages Up or Down?

Have Wages gone Up or Down?

In June 2021, Labor’s Anthony Albanese said that Australia’s real wages had ‘flatlined’ for eight years, under the Lib/Nat government.

Figures showed that over the eight years to December 2020, real wages, (wages adjusted for the impact of inflation), grew by 3.1%, or only about 0.4% per year.

The Albanese government came to power promising to get wages increasing properly.

In October 2023, the Labor Treasurer Jim Chalmers said: “An average full-time worker was $3,700 better off in the first year of the Albanese government.” That is an increase of 3.9% over 1 year.

Much better, at first glance, than the coalition over the previous 8 years.

However, Labor’s Anthony Albanese was talking about real wages, ie: wages adjusted for the impact of inflation.


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When checking Labor’s increase in wages of 3.9%, after taking account of the impact of inflation, as mentioned in 2021, the average full-time real total weekly earnings fell by 2% over the year to May 2023.

These employees were actually worse off, in real terms, by $2,012.92 after Labor’s first year in office. That is the 2% drop in real wages in just one year.

Out of the two options. Which would you prefer?

  • A drop of 2%.
  • An increase of 0.4%.
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