Seek reveals Australian industries with the fastest growing wages

The Australian workers likely to get the biggest pay rises when applying for a new job have been revealed.

Employers looking for tradies and office administration workers have increased the salaries they’re willing to offer jobseekers – the most of any sector in the past year.

Employment Marketplace SEEK has revealed the change in advertised salaries on its website in the year to October, which suggests which workers could get the biggest pay rises when applying for a new job.

Trades and services saw a 6.2 per cent increase, while administration and office support salaries were up 5.6 per cent.

Following closely behind was design and architecture jobs at 5.5 per cent and manufacturing, transport and logistics jobs at 5.4 per cent.

The public service sector was the only category that experienced a decline, with advertised salaries falling 1.5 per cent in the year to October.

SEEK senior economist Matt Cowgill noted it was the lowest paid jobs that had experienced the biggest rise in advertised salaries, which reflected the “strong demand for workers in relatively-low paid industries and also the larger-than-usual minimum wage rise in July this year”.

In the three months to October, salaries being offered in the insurance and superannuation sector increased the most (3 per cent), followed by construction at 2.6 per cent.

These industries also ranked fifth and sixth for increases over the last year.

Overall, salaries advertised on SEEK were 4 per cent higher year-on-year, 1.2 per cent higher quarterly (July to October) and 0.4 per cent higher monthly (September to October).

Mr Cowgill said advertised salary growth was “treading water”.

“Although advertised salary growth remains solid, it’s not keeping up with the cost of living,” he said. “It’s also not continuing to accelerate.

“This is bad news for workers in the short-term, but will reassure fiscal and monetary policymakers that we’re not seeing a wage-price spiral that would further push up inflation.”

Inflation and wage growth

Inflation hit 7.3 per cent in the latest data release in October – the highest annual consumer price index in more than three decades.

When Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his first budget the same month, he said inflation was expected to peak at 7.75 per cent later this year before moderating over time to 3.5 per cent through 2023 to ⁠24.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said on Tuesday wages needed to stay “broadly in the current range” to keep inflation down.

“The issue that many central banks have been worried about – and I include us on this – is this period of high inflation will lead the workforce to say: ‘Well, inflation is high, I need full compensation for that,’” he said, speaking during a question-and-answer session at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia dinner in Melbourne.

“And let’s say we all accepted the idea, which there’s a natural appeal to this: ‘Inflation is 7 per cent; I should be compensated for that in my wages.’ If that were to happen, what do you think inflation would be next year?”

He said it was “tough” people were experiencing a decline in real wages (wages in terms of the amount of goods and services that can be bought), however “the alternative though is more difficult”.

How salary growth compares by state

Looking at advertised salary growth in the past year by state, SEEK found Tasmania had the most rapid growth (6.2 per cent).

Second fastest was Northern Territory (6.1 per cent), followed by Queensland (5.5 per cent), Western Australia (4.5 per cent), Victoria (3.6 per cent), NSW and South Australia (both 3.5 per cent).

ACT was the worst with salaries increasing by just 1.3 per cent over the year to October. SEEK noted this reflected “ongoing sluggishness” in public sector wages growth.

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