Western Australia has had its strongest wages growth in more than 10 years, picking up to 4.6% for the year to September 2023.
This is the fastest pace of growth since the year to June 2012, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Similarly, wages growth across the country also accelerated, up to 4.1% over the year. While this result is emblematic of a tight labour market, it was also influenced by the significant increase to the minimum and award rates of pay which came into effect on July 1. Importantly, on a quarterly basis, Australian real wages increased for the first time since June 2021, with wage growth outpacing inflation over the September quarter.
Number of jobs rises further, but employment growth cooling
Unemployment figures were also released this week, with WA’s unemployment rate jumping back to 3.8% in October, up from 3.3% in September.
Despite this, the number of people employed in the State continues to rise, with an additional 9,400 people finding jobs over the month.
In a sign that the labour market continues to ease, employment growth has continued to slow from its peak in early 2022 – in annual average terms, employment growth was 2.3% in October 2023, continuing the gradual downtrend from 6.5% in March 2022.
US inflation weaker than expected
Overseas, US inflation broke its run of increases over the past three months, falling to 3.2% over the year to October.
This was a tick below expectations on the back of a fall in energy prices over the month.
Core inflation also continued its gradual decline to 4%, the eighth consecutive month of easing. With both measures coming in below expectations, there is increasing optimism that the US Federal Reserve will keep interest rates on hold when they next meet in mid-December.
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