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A modest minimum wage increase is warranted in this year's Annual Wage Review

"The Australian Industry Group's submission to this year's Annual Wage Review, which will be lodged this afternoon, argues that when all the relevant factors are weighed up, a modest wage increase of 1.6% is warranted. This equates to an increase of about $10.501 per week in the National Minimum Wage and about $12.252 per week at the base trade level," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"Ai Group has reached this position based on a number of factors, including:

  • The fact that economic growth remains patchy across sectors and across locations, with aggregate business incomes, profits and investment still underwhelming.
  • Australia's lack of global competitiveness and very high minimum wage compared to other comparable countries.
  • The fact that Australian (and global) inflation rates have been exceedingly weak for some time.
  • The fact that Australia's wage price index (WPI) fell to its lowest annual growth rate on record in December 2015.
  • The fact that one in every seven members of the workforce (i.e. almost 1.8 million people) are currently either unemployed or underemployed.

"It is important that the Expert Panel not put the interests of those in secure jobs ahead of the needs of those searching for jobs, or for more work. The Panel needs to fully take into account the needs of those whose jobs will be threatened (including many low paid workers) if an excessive minimum wage increase is awarded," Mr Willox said.

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