Senate debates

Monday, 9 September 2019

Questions without Notice

Economy

2:50 pm

Photo of Marise PayneMarise Payne (NSW, Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator McCarthy for her question although perhaps not for her introduction! I think it's fair to say that Mr Pyne would never have been a senator. In response to the senator's question, as I think the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Minister for Finance, has indicated, we saw wages growth historically being relatively strong and stable throughout much of the 2000s, with particularly pre-GFC through-the-year growth averaging over 3½ per cent. That grew by 2.3 per cent through the year to the June quarter of 2019, which is up 1.9 per cent from the June quarter of 2017, but it does remain subdued by historical standards. The finance minister acknowledged that in his earlier remarks today. We saw average earning on a national accounts basis, the AENA, another measure of wages growth, which is calculated as total compensation of employees divided by the total number of employees, increase by 0.9 per cent in the June quarter 2019 to be 2½ per cent higher through the year. We acknowledge, as I've said before and as others have in significant commentary, that this is very subdued growth, but it is on an upward trajectory.

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