Australians who want a more generous pay rise might have to quit their job or move for a new one, new data shows.
Advertised salaries on the Seek website rose by four per cent in the year to October.
This was still significantly better than the wage price index of 3.1 per cent – itself the best figure since 2013.
Trades, also known as trades and services, had the biggest annual pay increase of 6.2 per cent, ahead of administration workers on 5.6 per cent, architects on 5.5 per cent, and manufacturing, transport and logistics staff on 5.4 per cent.
Insurance professionals saw an average pay rise of 4.8 per cent, with construction workers getting 4.7 per cent.
Seek senior economist Matt Cowgill said the labor market was still tight despite salary growth peaking earlier this year.
Advertised salaries on the Seek website rose by four per cent in the year to October. Tradies (pictured in Sydney) had the biggest annual pay increase of 6.2 per cent
‘Although the labor market isn’t quite as robust as it was earlier in 2022, it remains very tight, and advertised salary growth remains robust,’ he said.
Biggest pay rises
TRADES: Up 6.2 per cent
ADMINISTRATION: Up 5.6 per cent
ARCHITECTURE: Up 5.5 per cent
MANUFACTURING, TRANSPORT, LOGISTICS: Up 5.4 per cent
INSURANCE, SUPERANNUATION: Up 4.8 per cent
CONSTRUCTION: Up 4.7 per cent
‘Advertised salary growth has fallen a little since early 2022, but the strong labor market and the surge in inflation have pushed advertised salary growth far above pre-Covid levels.’
In Tasmania, advertised pay levels rose by 6.2 per cent, ahead of the Northern Territory’s 6.1 per cent and Queensland’s 5.5 per cent rise.
Mining rich Western Australia had an above-average increase of 4.5 per cent but elsewhere pay increases were below-average with advertised salaries in Victoria growing by 3.6 per cent ahead of NSW and South Australia on 3.5 per cent.
The Australian Capital Territory, the home of Canberra public servants, had by far the lowest pay increase of 1.3 per cent, as the federal government tries to cut back on spending.
Government jobs in fact suffered a 1.5 per cent fall in advertised salaries, albeit off a higher base, being the only category to go backwards.
With inflation running at a 32-year high of 7.3 per cent, most workers are effectively suffering a cut in real wages.
In Tasmania (Hobart’s Salamanca Markets, pictured), advertised pay levels rose by 6.2 per cent, ahead of the Northern Territory’s 6.1 per cent and Queensland’s 5.5 per cent rise
Mr Cowgill disputed Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe’s suggestion higher wages could feed into inflation.
‘Although advertised salary growth remains solid, it’s not keeping up with the cost of living,’ he said.
It’s also not continuing to accelerate.
‘This is bad news for workers in the short-term, but will reassure fiscal and monetary policymakers that we’re not seeing a wage-price spiral that would further push up inflation.’
That is in contrast to Dr Lowe who on Tuesday night told a Melbourne dinner faster wages growth could exacerbate inflation, as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government pushes for multi-employer bargaining to boost wages.
‘Domestically, we need to avoid a price-wage spiral,’ he said.
Reserve Bank of Australia Governor has this week suggested a ‘price-wage spiral’ could feed inflation, referencing what happened during the 1970s and early 1980s
Mr Cowgill said the wages growth was only strong because they started off a low base in October 2021, during long lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
Government Services Minister Bill Shorten, who led Labor to two election defeats, disputed Dr. Lowe’s suggestion of a wage-price spiral like the 1970s and early 1980s.
‘Real people are hurting without some wages movement. These wages changes aren’t going to lead to double digit wages inflation,’ he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.
‘Like, it’s just rubbish. That’s not what’s happening.’