Millions of Australian workers get historic pay raise in 33-year highest pay rise: here’s how big the bump will be and when it will come
- The Fair Work Commission raised the minimum wage by 5.75 percent
- The largest since 1990, but well below the inflation rate of 6.8 percent
Australia’s lowest-paid workers have received the biggest pay rise since 1990, even though it is well below inflation.
The Fair Work Commission on Friday granted a 5.75 per cent increase in the minimum wage and national rewards, which will affect the wages of 2.67 million Australians – or one in four workers.
The annual wage review decision directly affects 180,000 minimum wage workers in hospitality, tourism and aviation, but affects many more workers on national awards.
The national minimum wage increases by $46.72 per week to $859.32.
Adam Hatcher, chairman of the Fair Work Commission, said female workers in particular suffered from high inflation.
Australia’s lowest paid workers have received the biggest pay rise since 1990 (pictured is a bartender from Sydney)
Adam Hatcher, chairman of the Fair Work Commission, said female workers in particular suffered from high inflation
Historically large annual increases in the weekly minimum wage
1990: 9.2 percent when the minimum wage rose from $285.10 to $311.30, but the increase was in six-month blocks
2023: 5.75 percent if minimum wage increased to $859.32 from $812.60
2006: 5.7 percent as the minimum wage increased from $484.40 to $511.86
2022: 5.2 percent as minimum wage increased from $772.60 to $812.60
Source: The Fair Work Commission’s The History of the Australian Minimum Wage
It was the largest annual increase since a 9.2 percent increase was credited in 1990.
But the minimum wage will rise much less from July 1 than April’s monthly inflation rate of 6.8 percent.
The 5.75 percent increase is better than last year’s 5.2 percent increase, but only slightly more than the 5.7 percent increase in 2006 during the mining boom.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions had pushed for a 7 per cent increase so that the minimum wage increase in the March quarter would be in line with inflation.
The monthly inflation measure for April showed an increase from 6.3 percent to 6.8 percent, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced this week.
Employer groups had called for more restraint, with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry advocating a 3.5 per cent increase.
Last year’s 5.2 percent increase was slightly above inflation and was the most generous increase since the old Australian Fair Pay Commission awarded a 5.7 percent increase in 2006 during the mining boom.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Labor government had called on the Fair Work Commission to authorize an increase in the minimum wage so that Australia’s lowest paid would not decline during a cost-of-living crisis.
But Justice Hatcher, who was only appointed in February by Secretary of Labor Tony Burke, has not heeded that call.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions had pushed for a 7 per cent increase so that the minimum wage increase in the March quarter would be in line with inflation (pictured ACTU Secretary Sally McManus)