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Comparing Australia's Minimum Wage


Guest The Pom Queen

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Guest The Pom Queen

THE government's submission to Fair Work calling for a review of Australia's national awards scheme has brought Australia's industrial relations debate to a head. As a result, we're going to see unions, government and business lobby groups start comparing Australia's IR laws to other OECD countries.

So, we've done just that, focusing on three core areas of the IR debate: minimum wage, leave and penalty rates.

Australia's minimum wage has climbed steadily over the past decade, rising from $US11 in 2004 to around $US16.88 in 2013. And as the chart looking at minimum wages in 2012 shows, it's often pointed out that when converted to US dollars, Australia has the highest minimum wage of all OECD nations.

 

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Though, when you look at the same set of minimum wages through the filter of purchasing power parity (PPP) - an economic tool that neutralises the impact of international currencies - Australia appears to be in the middle of the pack.

 

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On leave entitlements, Australia again is in line with the OECD average. The graph below from a Harvard study on leave is based on minimum leave entitlements, which explains why the US is not represented. In the US, the amount of leave is mandated by the employer, not by the law.

 

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http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/how-generous-are-australian-work-conditions/story-e6frflo9-1226819717845

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The purchasing power comparison would make more sense wouldn't it. We are always hearing how expensive it is here. I guess less so now the $A has been falling.

 

There's going to be some serious pressure put on while this government are in power on things like Union membership, minimum wage, entitlements, overtime payments, weekend rates. Typical Liberal government policy, looking to line their friends pockets in business, complaining that doing business in Aus "is not sustainable with the high costs of labour".

 

In the meantime CEO's and high management salaries and bonuses sky rocket, banks, miners, big business announce record profits again and the worker at the bottom gets shafted.

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I wouldn't like to be on the average wage in Australia ($72,800 last year based on a Google search) never mind the minimum and I don't mean that from a selfish showy off way.

 

Cost of living in WA is expensive with so much stuff having to be brought in from "over East" and there's days where I look at my massive (by UK standards) mortgage and think I would have been debt free in about 5 years if we hadn't emigrated.

 

Still, it was our choice to move and I don't regret it.

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The purchasing power comparison would make more sense wouldn't it. We are always hearing how expensive it is here. I guess less so now the $A has been falling.

 

 

Depends as a falling dollar makes imports more expensive. Obviously if you are transferring GBP to AUD then it there is an upside but that may be short lived based on the other thread about positive news from China.

 

My brain can't get round the numerator/denominator effect of what it does to purchasing power though. :wub:

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Depends as a falling dollar makes imports more expensive. Obviously if you are transferring GBP to AUD then it there is an upside but that may be short lived based on the other thread about positive news from China.

 

My brain can't get round the numerator/denominator effect of what it does to purchasing power though. :wub:

 

I think a lot of comments about Aus being expensive is because people still convert back to pounds to make the comparison, as whacky as that may be. Now the A$ has fallen in value against the pound a lot of people will be doing the comparison and thinking "it's not so bad after all". Crazy isn't it.

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Guest The Pom Queen
I think a lot of comments about Aus being expensive is because people still convert back to pounds to make the comparison, as whacky as that may be. Now the A$ has fallen in value against the pound a lot of people will be doing the comparison and thinking "it's not so bad after all". Crazy isn't it.

I think Aus is expensive compared to when we first came over and that's not comparing currency. Cairns is a hell of a lot more expensive than Melbourne but I pay because I love it up here

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I am from England and I dont think Oz is all that expensive as people made out. I have lived in rural oz for $511 one month, which I could never ever do in England to the same standard.

 

Your alcohol and your transport costs are kind of high, petrol is much cheaper compared to england, the thing i dont get is why is your fruit and veg so expensive, considering its all home grown.

 

Also you can have a minimum wage job in oz and still have an okay lifestyle, when compared to England I dont think you could move out your parents house.

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