Australia’s lowest-paid workers who serve drinks and take orders in restaurants are getting the biggest pay raises from their bosses, new data shows.
Catering workers in the lodging and hospitality sector enjoyed a 7.7 percent pay rise in the December quarter, according to new business indicators from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released Monday.
Labor shortages saw bartenders and waiters receive pay raises well above the quarterly increase of 2.6 percent for all private sector employees, based on the company’s operating and personnel costs.
Separate data from Seek showed that jobs in trades and services – a broad category that includes occupations from electricians to air-conditioning technicians – also saw significant annual wage increases of 6.3 percent, followed by design and architecture at 6.2 percent and manufacturing , transportation and logistics workers at 5.8 percent.
But those numbers indicated that those who really want a decent pay rise really needed to change jobs, with pay increases not keeping pace with rising inflation.
Advertised salaries in the year to January rose 4.4 percent, a level well above last year’s official wage price index of 3.3 percent, but well below the inflation rate of 7.8 percent – the worst since 1990.
Australia’s lowest paid workers who serve drinks and take orders in restaurants enjoy the biggest pay rises (pictured is a bartender from Sydney)
Advertised salary increases in a year
TRADE, SERVICES: An increase of 6.3 percent
DESIGN, ARCHITECTURE: An increase of 6.2 percent
PRODUCTION, TRANSPORT, LOGISTICS: An increase of 5.8 percent
INSURANCE, DEATH: An increase of 5.7 percent
ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE SUPPORT: An increase of 5.5 percent
GOVERNMENT: An increase of 5.3 percent
BOOKKEEPING: An increase of 5.1 percent
BUILD: 5 percent higher
RETAIL: an increase of 4.9 percent
MINING: an increase of 4.4 percent
ENGINEERING: an increase of 4.4 percent
PROPERTY: an increase of 4.4 percent
HOSPITALITY, TOURISM: an increase of 4.2 percent
CALL CENTER: an increase of 4.2 percent
BANKING, FINANCIAL SERVICES: 4 percent higher
HEALTH CARE, MEDICAL: An increase of 3.8 percent
INFORMATION COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY: 3.5 percent higher
ADVERTISING, ARTS, MEDIA: 3.5 percent higher
COMMUNITY SERVICES, DEVELOPMENT: An increase of 3.2 percent
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS: an increase of 2.9 percent
EDUCATION, TRAINING: an increase of 2.7 percent
HUMAN RESOURCES, RECRUITMENT: An increase of 2.6 percent
SALE: An increase of 2.6 percent
SPORT, RECREATION: An increase of 1.6 percent
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY: An increase of 0.8 percent
ADVICE, STRATEGY: An increase of 0.6 percent
LEGAL: An increase of 0.4 percent
Source: Search advertised salary increases in the year to January 2023
Search senior economist Matt Cowgill said wage increases had likely peaked, making a wage-price spiral less likely.
“Advertised salary growth is still strong, but there are signs that we may have seen the spike,” he said.
While advertised salary growth remains strong, at 4.4 percent, it still lags far behind inflation at 7.75 percent.
“That means real inflation-adjusted advertised salaries are falling, adding to cost-of-living pressures for Australian workers.”
Australians struggling with the cost of living crisis are advised to look for a new job.
Advertised salaries continue to grow faster than total wages and salaries, suggesting that employers are still in a bidding war for talent and that changing jobs is still a good way to get a raise for those who have a hard time,” Cowgill said.
Belinda Allen, a senior economist at the Commonwealth Bank, said corporate payroll bills had risen sharply in sectors recovering from previous lockdowns.
“The strongest gains were in sectors still recovering from Covid restrictions and those where consumers spent money in the second half of 2022,” she said.
These low-paid hospitality workers also received a 5.2 percent increase in their minimum wage on Oct. 1, which at the time was slightly higher than the June quarter’s annual rate of inflation.
Companies in this sector achieved a quarter-over-quarter increase in gross operating profit of 19.8 percent, a level well above the 10.6 percent average for the entire economy, the ABS data showed.
This is despite the fact that the minimum wage has risen by the largest margin since 2006.
When it came to advertised jobs, the Seek data showed that hospitality and tourism jobs had seen a 4.2 percent increase in salary, a level below the ABS measure of companies’ payroll accounts and the Seek average of advertised jobs.
Service sector workers working in restaurants, bars and hotels still earn below average.
Their median full-time salary of $67,277.60 is the lowest of the broader industries as grouped by the ABS and is well below the $94,000 median across all industries.
But they also fare much better than other low-paid workers, based on average weekly wages.
Retail workers saw their minimum wage rise earlier on July 1, but they had a wage increase of just 3.3 percent in the December quarter, as measured by the ABS.
Catering workers in the accommodation and hospitality sector received a 7.7 per cent pay rise, new Australian Bureau of Statistics business indicators released Monday showed (pictured is a waitress in Sydney)
Advertised salaries on Seek in the year to January rose 4.4 percent, a level well above last year’s official wage price index of 3.3 percent, but well below the inflation rate of 7.8 percent – the worst since 1990 (pictured a traffic warden in Sydney)
Advertised retail jobs, however, saw an annual salary increase of 4.9 percent.
The median full-time salary of retail associates is $70,397.60, making it the second lowest on the ABS ranking.
Arts and recreation saw a healthy 7.4 percent increase in wages and salaries, but the median full-time wage of $85,654.40 is on the low side.
Technology-oriented jobs receive the weakest pay raises, with information and communications technology salaries rising just 3.5 percent, a level well below the Seek average.
Science and technology jobs saw an advertised salary increase of just 0.8 percent.
Mining has Australia’s highest median salary of $146,208.40, with the sector benefiting from an 11.6 percent increase in profits.
But advertised salaries rose 4.4 percent — in line with the Seek average.
The Seek data covered January, when the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent, from a 48-year low of 3.5 percent in December.
Who had the biggest pay rises?
FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION: An increase of 7.7 percent
ART AND RECREATION: An increase of 7.4 percent
TRANSPORT, POST, STORAGE: An increase of 6.3 percent
BUILD: an increase of 4.4 percent
FINANCE AND INSURANCE: an increase of 4.3 percent
ELECTRICITY, GAS, WATER, WASTE SERVICES: An increase of 3.7 percent
RETAIL: 3.3 percent higher
ADMINISTRATIVE AND SUPPORT SERVICES: 3.3 percent higher
MINING: an increase of 2.7 percent
HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL ASSISTANCE: An increase of 2.2 percent
WHOLESALE: An increase of 1.6 percent
PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL SERVICES: an increase of 1.2 percent
RENTALS, HIRING, REAL ESTATE: An increase of 0.4 percent
EDUCATION AND TRAINING: A decrease of 0.8 percent
INFORMATION, MEDIA, TELECOMMUNICATIONS: A decrease of 1.6 percent
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics business indicators data for the December quarter on wages as operating expenses