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Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work

  • April 16 2021
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Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work

By Cameron Micallef
April 16 2021

The unions are calling for the minimum wage to be increased to help aid the economic recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, as the latest job figures show Australians are getting back to work.

Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work

Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work

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  • April 16 2021
  • Share

The unions are calling for the minimum wage to be increased to help aid the economic recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, as the latest job figures show Australians are getting back to work.

Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work

Stats released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6 from 5.8 per cent last month, with 71,000 people gaining employment.

Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn said CBA’s economics team is predicting further falls in the unemployment rate, with 5 per cent of Australians expected to be unemployed by the end of the year.

This is predicted to continue to fall to 4.7 per cent over 2022.

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According to the head of CBA, there is significant cause for optimism.

“The recovery in the labour market is, in one word, miraculous,” Mr Comyn said.

However, the ACTU highlighted that the strong wage growth figures stand in stark contrast to the record-low wage growth rate, with the union stating Australia needs to lift the minimum wage.

The ACTU is arguing for a 3.5 per cent increase to the minimum wage and awards, which would provide a pay rise for a quarter of all working people and drive huge amounts of money into small businesses around the country through spending.

“The key missing element of the recovery is wages growth. It is now time for a pay rise so working people also benefit from the recovery and are able to drive spending and consumer confidence,” ACTU secretary Sally McManus said.

“We can’t afford a recovery which drives up profits but does nothing for working people or small business.”

The economic data shows that this wage increase is affordable and would share the benefits of the recovery with working people. Profits were up 8.9 per cent in 2020, while wage growth continued at the record lows we have seen for the last eight years.

“Big business is profiteering while working people struggle to make ends meet. We need to ensure that everyone is part of the recovery,” Ms McManus concluded.

Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work
Unions call for minimum wage increase as Australians get back to work
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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