On 16 August 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published the Wage Price Index Report for the June quarter 2017. The WPI Report measures changes in the price of labour in the Australian labour market.
In the June quarter 2017, the private-sector WPI rose to 1.8 per cent, the same rate of growth as has been recorded by the ABS for the last three quarters and the longest period of low growth for five successive quarters. The private-sector WPI is lower than the 2.0 per cent pay growth forecast for both the private and public sectors in the May 2017 Federal Budget.
In the private sector, the mining industry recorded the highest quarterly rise of 0.8 per cent, driven by wage growth in Western Australia as a result of some mining employees receiving their first wage increases in several years. In addition, the WPI Report indicated that pay rates (excluding bonuses) rose by 0.4 per cent in the June quarter 2017, down 0.1 per cent from the March quarter 2017.
On 14 August 2017, the Department of Employment published the "Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining Report" for the March quarter 2017. The TFEB Report published that the average annualised wage increase for 761 agreements approved in the March quarter for private-sector employees was 2.7 per cent—down from 3.0 per cent for the December quarter 2016. This increase mirrors the stagnating rates of pay published in the WPI Report and is the lowest since reporting in relation to enterprise bargaining agreements began in the December quarter 2001.