Wage bills on the increase

Wage bills on the increase

While overall wage growth remains anaemic, certain industries are seeing advertised salaries grow well above the rate of inflation, leading to speculation that wage growth may be on the up.

Analysis of job advertisements by NAB found that average advertised salaries were growing fastest in the insurance and superannuation space, rising by 5.2 per cent.

This was followed by a 3.5 per cent rise in real estate and property, 3.3 per cent increase in banking and financial services, and a 2.9 per cent uptick in design and architecture.

Other industries posting above-inflation increases were administration and office support (2.8 per cent), sports and recreation (2.3 per cent), legal (2.1 per cent) and retail and consumer products (2 per cent).

Unsurprisingly, wage falls were most pronounced in the mining, resources and energy sector, tumbling by 5.8 per cent.

Advertised salaries were also down in transport and logistics (-3.2 per cent), government and defence (-1.3 per cent), healthcare and medical (-1 per cent), advertising arts and media (-0.8 per cent), HR and recruitment (-0.5 per cent) and accounting (-0.1 per cent).

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According to NAB, just four industries were responsible for jobs growth in Australia over the last 12 months: construction, healthcare and social assistance, education and training, and accommodation and food services.

“Over the past year, these industries combined have been responsible for 91 per cent of Australia’s employment growth, despite only comprising 38 per cent of total employment in the economy,” the bank noted.

The bank suggested, however, that wage growth may begin to pick up in the near future.

“[Our] modelling found underemployment and lower inflation expectations can almost fully account for subdued nominal wages growth to date. The model now points to a modest uplift in wages growth due to lower labour market slack from the slight decline in underemployment (now 8.6 per cent from 8.9 per cent in February), and higher inflation expectations,” NAB said.

Wage bills on the increase
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