Wage Growth Reflects a Decade of Misery for Queenslanders’ Pay Packets: CCIQ

Wednesday 20 February, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

Annualised wage growth in the private sector continues to lag the public sector in overall outcomes according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that Queensland wages grew by around 2.3% in annualized terms whilst public service rates of pay increased 2.4% versus 2.3% for the private sector.  

CCIQ Chief economist, Dr Marcus Smith said the latest data has been a continuation of subdued wage growth which ultimately drags on the economy.

“The economic environment despite low cash rates in the midst of low consumer price inflation has not delivered much in the way of wage growth outcomes over the past few years.

“But for both sectors, the private sector in particular, wage growth continues to grow quicker than headline inflation that of course reflects the sales price of goods and services.

“Margins for Queensland’s small and medium businesses continue to be squeezed and reportedly general business conditions have not been at their current level since 2015.

“Our December Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse survey indicated that almost half of Queensland small businesses partaking in the survey reported a decrease in profitability over the quarter; and this was relatively greater for SEQ than regional Queensland.

“In contrast to this, responses about other business conditions such as employment levels, business investment and increases in operating costs indicated the regions were faring worse.

“The private sector continues to negotiate a tougher operating environment more generally, as business confidence, political uncertainty and overseas trade tension continuing to weigh on the economy,” Dr Smith said.

CCIQ notes that businesses in Queensland have had to absorb a series of new levies and taxes in the last 18 months against continually elevating utility and energy costs. 

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