Australian minimum wage earners get a boost

Australia’s lowest paid workers will get a pay rise next financial year, though it’s not as big as last year’s increase.

The national minimum wage will be raised by $21.60 a week to $740.80 from July 1, despite unions calling for a $43 rise (or six percent).

It works out to be a 3 percent rise in wage for approximately 2.2 million low paid Australians.


The Fair Work Commission President Justice Iain Ross said that they’ve gone with a lower increase than last year due to a recent slowing in quarterly GDP.

He noted the economy had been performing well and that employment was expanding and inflation had slowed.

“We are satisfied that the level of increase we have decided upon will not lead to any adverse inflationary outcome and nor will it have any measurable negative impact on employment,” Justice Ross said.

“However, such an increase will mean an improvement in real wages for those employees who are reliant on the NMW and modern award minimum wages and an improvement in their living standards.”

The announcement has already copped criticism from employer groups, who believe the increase will cost Australian businesses $3.1 billion a year.

“Australia already has one of the highest minimum wages in the world, and continuously increasing minimum wages by significantly more than inflation has consequences,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said in a statement.