Wages growth lower than expected nationally, despite reviews and minimum pay call

Australia Wages Growth Remains Modest in 3Q

Wage growth mired near record lows despite minimum pay rise, Aussie dollar tumbles

"A further reduction in the unemployment rate is clearly required before we see a more sustained rise in wage growth", she said.

In the public sector, public administration and safety had the strongest quarterly growth of 1.2 per cent, while workers in electricity, gas and water were among those with the lowest increase of 0.5 per cent.

Australian Bureau of Statistics chief economist Bruce Hockman described the September quarter increase as marginal.

With wages growing by 0.5% over the quarter, that temporary boost likely masked what would have otherwise been a record-low level for wage growth.

After seasonal adjustments, private sector wages grew by just 1.86% over the year, outpaced by a 2.37% increase for public sector workers.

ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett said the lack of impact from the bigger than usual minimum wage rise suggested underlying wages growth actually slowed in the quarter.

"In original terms, through the year wage growth to the September quarter 2017 ranged from 1.2% for the mining industry to 2.7% for health care and social assistance and arts and recreation services", the ABS said.

It will take into account the Reserve Bank's decision last week to again leave the cash rate at a record low 1.5 per cent and more signs of cooling across Australia's major housing markets, as well as renewed political instability from the citizenship debacle.

And he doesn't expect there'll be any meaningful improvement in wage growth for some time yet. "But there remains a high degree of slack in the labour market and that keep wage growth relatively low for the foreseeable future", he says.

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