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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Total labour costs for the private sector accounted for 77.7% of the labour costs for all employers. Total labour costs for the public sector were 22.3% of the labour costs for all employers. Public sector organisations include Commonwealth and state/territory government organisations, local government authorities, public corporations, universities, non-profit institutions controlled by the government, government marketing boards, legislative courts, municipal authorities and other statutory authorities.
Earnings, which includes gross wages and salaries, the ungrossed value of fringe benefits, and severance, termination and redundancy payments, is the largest component of labour costs. During 2015-16, earnings totalled $664.6 billion (87.3% of total labour costs).
The value of employer superannuation contributions paid on behalf of employees in Australia was $60.9 billion, or 8.0% of total labour costs.
When comparing across states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest superannuation costs as a proportion of total labour costs (10.7%). The Australian Capital Territory has a larger proportion of Commonwealth employees, many of whom receive higher superannuation entitlements.
Payroll tax paid by employers totalled $21.8 billion, representing 2.9% of total labour costs. The private sector accounted for 84.0% of total payroll tax, and the public sector 16.0%.
As a proportion of total labour costs, payroll tax was highest in Western Australia (3.2%) and lowest in the Australian Capital Territory (1.9%).
Workers' compensation costs during 2015-16 were $10.6 billion, representing 1.4% of total labour costs.
As a proportion of total labour costs, workers' compensation costs were highest in South Australia (1.9%) and lowest in Queensland (1.2%).
FRINGE BENEFITS TAX
Fringe benefits tax paid by employers during 2015-16 totalled $3.0 billion, representing 0.4% of total labour costs.
Fringe benefits tax as a proportion of total labour costs ranged from 0.2% in Tasmania to 0.5% in the Northern Territory.
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