Wages growth went backwards in 2015 for the ‘bottom’ 90 percent

For the first time in 22 years in Western Australia wages growth for the bottom 90 percent of employees actually went backwards in 2015. What does this mean?

It means two things:

  • A lot of people who got new employment in 2015 agreed to take a lower hourly or daily rate than they would have expected in 2014 or before.

  • A lot of people who were already employed were asked to accept a reduction in their rate.

The bad news is that wages growth is likely to go backwards in 2016, and possibly also in 2017—depending on whether the Western Australian economy managed to pick up or not.

If the downturn in wages rates extends for three years (2015 thru 2017) then this will be the first time this has happened since the Great Depression of the 1930s, when unemployment reached the impossible level of 30 percent.

It's not all gloom and doom but. The top 10 percent did okay.