Lower unionisation ‘unlikely to account for’ low wage growth


Slow wage growth in Australia is not due to the recent fall in trade union membership, says a paper published by the country’s central bank.

Annual wage increases in both the public and the private sectors averaged close to 5% in the late 1990s. But over the last two decades, they’ve progressively fallen to below 3% in 2018, says the research, conducted at the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).

This has coincided with an abrupt decline in union membership. In 2018, it stood at 15% of wage

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