A recent study illuminates the widening gap between wage growth and inflation in Australia. The professions least likely to receive a pay raise that outpaces inflation span diverse industries, underscoring the economic challenges these workers face as living costs soar.
Wage Stagnation Amid Rising Inflation
The Robert Walters 2024 Salary Survey, which involved over 1500 employers and candidates, indicated that 58% of employers do not expect to offer salary hikes above the current inflation rate of 5.4%. Consequently, employees are encountering real-terms pay cuts as wage increases trail behind inflation. Salaries for category managers in procurement dipped by 3.17%, while accounts payable roles saw no variation in wages, the study found.
Struggling Sectors and Economic Forecasts
In contrast, business development managers and network architects experienced average pay bumps of 2% and 2.94% respectively. Project managers in the resources and engineering fields also reported a 3.7% rise. However, these increases are still far below the inflation rate. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the consumer price index rose at an annual rate of 4.9% last month, with significant hikes in housing and transport costs.
Workforce Trends and Gender Pay Gap
Research from Randstad, a recruitment and HR services company, identified five trends that could shape the 2024 workforce. About 79% of the 200 business leaders surveyed felt optimistic about Australia's economic outlook in 2024. The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) also acknowledged the decline in the gender pay gap, as reported by the Workforce Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), while emphasizing the need to continue this positive trend.
Oxfam Australia's annual “Christmas Wish List” sheds light on fashion brands, including Zara and Uniqlo, which are reportedly lacking in transparency and commitment to paying a living wage. The report recommends enhanced transparency and urges brands to share up-to-date production location information.
In October, Aussies spent approximately 37.8 billion in retail outlets, according to the ABS's Retail Trade release. This figure represents a 0.2% drop compared to September, with a downturn in all retail categories except food retailing. The data underlines the need for cautious interpretation as it doesn't factor in inflation and population growth.