Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Small Businesses On The Margins

Thursday 30 May, 2019 | By: Thomas Birkbeck

Australia’s minimum wage has increased by 3 per cent in a decision handed down by the Fair Work Commission, taking the minimum wage to $740.80 a week or $19.49 per hour.


The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that today’s decision will cost collectively Queensland businesses an additional $592 million per year.


Head of Industry Dan Petrie said the increase in the minimum wage seen today and the previous two increases are high and well-above overall wage movements and out of step with Australia’s economic challenges.


“The decline in profitability is concerning for Queensland’s small businesses.


“Year after year, the Fair Work Commission’s decision on the minimum wage are always higher than the increased costs of goods and services, meaning that all employees on the minimum wage are better off generally.


CCIQ notes that 87,500 Australian employees are currently on the National Minimum Wage and is one of the highest in the developed world, according to OECD.


“An additional three per cent is on the high end of what small business can tolerate however, it does recognise the sluggish wage growth Australia is currently experiencing across the board.


“Australia needs to experience sustained economic growth in the near future to ensure small businesses can adjust to above-inflation wage increases,” Mr Petrie said.


Queensland is home to 18.9 per cent of Australia’s total workforce.


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Dan Petrie
Media and Communications – Economy and Government
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland
Ph No: 07 3192 0120 (Landline)
Dan Petrie -Mobile: 0408 919 767 

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