New data has shown an overall increase in wage rates across Australia but wages are failing to keep up with the rapid increase in the cost of living.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released new data on the Wage Price Index (WPI) in Australia today.

The quarterly cost of living for employees in Australia increased by 1.7%, while the wage rate only rose 0.7%.

The data shows, over the past year, the wage rate in Australia increased by just 2.4%, while the employee living cost index (LCI) rose by 3.8%.

NSW recorded the highest increase in the WPI with the quarterly increase being over 0.6%. However, it only recorded the fourth-highest percentage increase in the WPI over the past year with a 2.4% increase. Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest annual increase out of all the states at 2.8% followed by Queensland that increased by 2.5%.

Most commodity groups impacted the cost of living, with education and transport the greatest contributors to the increased cost of living employees. There was a 4.4% increase in education and a 4.3% increase in transport costs.

The retail trade rates of pay have increased quarterly by 0.3% and annually by 2.3% within Australia. 

Retail worker Ellie Skarvelis said she was concerned about current wage rates.

“The cost of living is so high at the moment and I don’t think employees are getting paid enough to support themselves,” Ms Skarvelis said.

“As a retail worker myself, I would really like to see the wage rates increase to help support me as the cost of living goes up.”

Data Infographic by UOWTV

Feature image by SolStock.