The highest WPI (Wage Price Index) through the year growth was recorded in the Rental, hiring and real estate services industry at 3.1% and our industry's highest annual growth rate since the June quarter of 2013.





March quarter 2022 Key statistics


Wages grew 2.4% over the year to March quarter of 2022, with the annual growth rate rising in each of the last five quarters from a low point of 1.4% in the December quarter of 2020.




 WPI is the primary measure of inflationary pressure on wages and salaries and is one of the preferred information sources when assessing monetary policy




What's the WPI?
The Wage Price Index (WPI) measures changes in the cost of labour without correlation to the quality or quantity of work

What employer costs does the WPI cover?
The wage price indexes encompass cash payments to employees and include ordinary time earnings, overtime earnings, and bonuses, together with the value of any salary sacrificed.


How is the data used?

Like CPI, the WPI is a key economic indicator used by a wide range of organisations and individuals in industrial relations forums, developing wages policy and economic analysis.


How are the sample data chosen?

  • A two-stage sampling methodology is used.
  • The first stage selects a sample of businesses.
  • In the second stage, a sample of employee jobs is selected from these businesses.
  • Approximately 3 000 private and public sector businesses are selected from the ABS Business Register at the first stage sampling.
  • Selected by classifying the target population of businesses by state/territory, sector (private/public), industry group and business size.
  • Approximately 18,000 jobs selected in the second stage.

How is the WPI price collected?

  • Every quarter from a sample survey of private and public sector employers.
  • Questionnaires used in the first quarter are different from those used in subsequent quarters.
  • The initial questionnaire involves the business selecting a sample of jobs from the workplace(s).
  • In subsequent quarters these businesses are asked to provide details of payments made to the current occupants of these same jobs in the specified reference period.



Wage rises across the private sector were the main driver of wage growth over the quarter.



Private sector wages grew by 0.7% for the quarter, while public sector wages grew by 0.6%. Private sector wages rose 2.4% annually, maintaining the same seasonally adjusted growth rate since the September quarter of 2021.


Public sector wages grew 2.2% over the year to March quarter of 2022.



A third consecutive quarter in which the rate of growth has increased



Drivers of wage growth Jobs covered by individual arrangements continued to be the most significant contributor to wage growth in recent quarters.


Labour market pressures have gradually influenced the size of increases for these market-sensitive jobs over the last three quarters.


Industry wage growth

The Rental, hiring and real estate services industry at 3.1% had the highest annual growth rate for our industry since the June quarter of 2013.


Administrative and support services, education and training and Arts and recreational services industries all recorded the highest quarterly rate of growth (0.8%).


Electricity, gas, water and waste services, Retail trade and Accommodation and food services industries recorded the lowest quarterly rate of growth (0.3%).


The electricity, gas, water and waste services industry recorded the lowest annual rate of wage growth (1.5%) for the third consecutive quarter.



State and territory wage growth

New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania recorded the highest quarterly rise of 0.6%.


Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory had the strongest annual growth of 2.8%. This is the highest annual rate of growth for the Australian Capital Territory since the June quarter of 2013.


The Northern Territory recorded the lowest quarterly growth rate at 0.3% and the lowest through the year rate of growth at 1.9%.



Information supplied by The Australian Bureau of Statistics


For more information, refer to WPI: Concepts, Sources and Method 2012 (cat. no. 6351.0.55.001), Chapter 8 "Price Collection" and Wage Price Index, Australia (cat. no. 6345.0), Explanatory Notes tab "Data Collection".



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Sam Bloch


Sam Bloch