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Salary growth ‘line-ball with CPI’, accountants in lead pack


Annual growth of 4.8 per cent comes down to big increases in a handful of sectors, data from Seek shows.

By Philip King 10 minute read

Salary growth accelerated in August to hit an annual rate of 4.8 per cent, almost in line with the year-to-July inflation rate of 4.9 per cent, the latest data from job website Seek shows.

The figure was driven by a second month-on-month increase of 0.5 per cent, the largest rise in the Advertised Salary Index since last November, with accounting in a leading pack that also included community services, retail and trades.

Seek senior economist Matt Cowgill said the national figure concealed substantial differences between sectors.

“We’re nearly at a point where advertised salary growth is outpacing the cost of living, with the Seek Advertised Salary Index up 4.8 per cent in the year to August and inflation up 4.9 per cent in the year to July,” he said.

“However, this increase is not common across all industries – most are still seeing moderate growth after the highs of 2022.”

“The increase in the overall ASI has been driven in large part by the community services and development industry, where minimum wages for certain occupations in aged care have increased by 15 per cent.”

Mr Cowgill said salary growth of 8 per cent within the community services and development sector appeared to be confined to the aged and disability support sub-group, which experienced a rise of 8.9 per cent in the year to August.

“Other sub-industries, such as employment services and community development are seeing reasonably steady growth in advertised salaries, without the sharp increase in recent months experienced by aged and disability support,” he said.

“This lends weight to the view that the overall increases in ASI for community services and development has been driven by the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase aged care award wages by 15 per cent from 30 June for a range of key occupations.”

It said another fast-rising sector, trades and services, was coming off the boil and its year to August salary growth of 5.5 per cent growth was down from a peak of 6.8 per cent in the year to April.

For accounting, the annual salary increase was steady at 4.8 per cent for the second month in a row, making it the fourth-best performer.

Mr Cowgill said annual salary growth of 3 per cent and higher was being recorded by just over half of its 400 sub-groups after a steady slowdown from last June when 70 per cent were increasing salaries at that rate.

“Notably, hospitality and tourism have seen a continued moderation in ASI growth, with advertised salaries up just 2.6 per cent in the year to August,” he said.

“Modest advertised salary growth has persisted in hospitality despite the Fair Work Commission’s decision to lift award wages by 5.75 per cent from July.”

“This moderation in advertised salaries reflects a fall in labour demand in hospitality from the very hot labour market experienced in 2022.”

“Given that the rise in ASI has been driven by only a portion of sub-industries, and that the greatest growth is due to a one-off increase in award wages, it would be reasonable to expect growth in the overall ASI to moderate again, now that the temporary effects of the one-off aged care wage increase have passed.”

The latest ABS wage price index showed 3.6 per cent growth for the year to the end of June.

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Philip King

Philip King


Philip King is editor of Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Philip joined the titles in March 2022 and brings extensive experience from a variety of roles at The Australian national broadsheet daily, most recently as motoring editor. His background also takes in spells on diverse consumer and trade magazines.

You can email Philip on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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