In a submission to the Annual Wage Review, the Australian Industry Group (AIG) has proposed a 1.5 per cent increase in Australia’s minimum wage. This equates to an increase of $10.10 per week in the National Minimum Wage and $11.75 per week at the base trade level, according to AIG chief executive Innes Willox.
According to Willox, the following factors support the view that a modest wage increase is warranted this year:
- Employment growth is exceedingly weak nationally
- Inflation has been low over an extended period
- Rising energy costs and other cost pressures have eroded businesses’ capacity to afford wage increases
- Measurable productivity growth is very weak
- National aggregate income remains weak and unevenly distributed
“Rising youth unemployment and underemployment, and failing participation, suggest significant pockets of spare capacity are building up, particularly at the lower-skilled end of the labour market,” said Willox.
“In such circumstances, it is important that the Fair Work Commission adopt a cautious approach when determining the level of any minimum wage increase in this year’s Annual Wage Review.”