WFD: The labour price index for the 12 months to the Dec quarter 2009 increased by 3.0% on trend terms, the ABS announced on Feb 24. Deputy PM & WR Minister Julia Gillard told the National Press Club the wages growth was the lowest since records had been kept. This was a reflection of the weakness of the economy as a result of the global financial crisis, but should “cause a moment’s pause” for those who had made dire predictions about the impact of IR reforms. She referred to “hysterical talk about a wages explosion because of Fair Work”, but said if it was to manifest “you would expect to see it in those numbers and there is nothing”.
Increases “at the industry level ranged from 1.9% for Accommodation & food services; Rental, hiring & real estate services; and Administrative & support services, to 4.0% for Transport, postal & warehousing”. The quarterly change in total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses was 0.6%, ranging from 0.2% for Accommodation & food services; Rental, hiring & real estate services; and Professional, scientific & technical services, to 1.2% for Electricity, gas, water & waste services