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6345.0 - Wage Cost Index, Australia, Mar 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2004   
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MARCH KEY FIGURES

Dec Qtr 2003 to Mar Qtr 2004
Mar Qtr 2003 to Mar Qtr 2004
% change
% change

Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses
Trend
Australia
0.9
3.7
Sector
Private
0.8
3.4
Public
1.0
4.6
Seasonally Adjusted
Australia
0.7
3.5
Sector
Private
0.8
3.4
Public
0.9
4.3
Original
Australia
0.8
3.6
Sector
Private
0.7
3.3
Public
1.2
4.3

Quarterly changes
Graph: Quarterly changes

Annual change: original, For selected industries
Graph:Annual change: original, For selected industries



MARCH KEY POINTS


INDEXES OF TOTAL HOURLY RATES OF PAY EXCLUDING BONUSES

QUARTERLY CHANGES (DEC QTR 2003 TO MAR QTR 2004)

  • The index for all employee jobs in Australia increased by 0.7%, seasonally adjusted.
  • The increases in the indexes (in original terms) at the industry level ranged from 0.3% for Property and business services to 1.9% for Education.
  • The increase in the indexes (in original terms) at the occupation level ranged from 0.4% for Advanced clerical and service workers and Labourers and related workers to 1.1% for Professionals.

ANNUAL CHANGES (MAR QTR 2003 TO MAR QTR 2004)
  • The seasonally adjusted increase through the year to March 2004 for all employee jobs in Australia was 3.5%.
  • Increases in the original indexes through the year to March 2004 at the industry level ranged from 2.5% for Accommodation, cafes and restaurants to 4.5% for Electricity, gas and water supply and Government administration and defence.


NOTES

ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Original indexes are compiled for various combinations of state/territory, sector (private/public), broad industry group and broad occupation group. Seasonally adjusted and trend indexes are only compiled for total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses for the private sector, public sector and all sectors. Indexes not included in this publication may be made available on request by telephoning Perth (08) 9360 5151.



FURTHER INFORMATION

More detailed information on the Wage Cost Index is available in Information Paper: Wage Cost Index, Australia, 2000 (cat. no. 6346.0).



INQUIRIES

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Tim Landrigan on Perth (08) 9360 5151.



COMMENTARY


PRIVATE SECTOR

The Private sector seasonally adjusted movement through the year to the March quarter 2004 was 3.4% compared with 3.3% through the year to December 2003, and 3.5% through the year to March 2003.


About half the pay movements this quarter were CA-based.



PUBLIC SECTOR

The Public sector original movement through the year to March quarter 2004 was 4.3%, a significant decrease from that for the December quarter 2003 (4.8%). This is the first decrease in the rate of through the year growth for six quarters.


NSW recorded the highest annual and quarterly movement among the states and territories. However, the quarterly movement for NSW in the March quarter 2004 was substantially below that recorded in the March quarter 2003.


CAs were the predominant source of pay mechanism for those jobs reporting pay increases.



SAFETY NET REVIEW

Most of the pay increases flowing on from the 2003 Safety Net Review (SNR) decision were implemented prior to the March quarter 2004, but some residual increases were reported.


The Australian Industrial Relations Commission handed down its 2004 SNR decision on 5 May 2004. It awarded a $19 a week increase to full-time workers employed under federal awards. The flow-on into the WCI is expected to occur primarily in the September and December quarters 2004.


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