Remuneration Trends and Insights

Key Economic Indicators

Mercer's Key Economic Indicators reviews key statistical indicators of the Australian economy.

 

 

May 2020

 

Economy snapshot

 

This section reviews key statistical indicators of the Australian economy, including:

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • Inflation – Consumer Price Index (CPI)
  • Employment and unemployment
  • Wage Price Index (WPI)

Key economic indicators showed:

  • Below trend GDP growth
  • Low inflation
  • Stable unemployment rate
  • Low wage price growth



GDP growth


GDP increased by 0.5% (seasonally adjusted) in the December quarter, bringing the annual GDP growth to December 2019 to 2.2%.

The December 2019 quarter results showed positive growth in 16 of the 20 industry divisions (seasonally adjusted). 


The top three positive movers were:

  • Rental, hiring and real estate services (up 2.7%)
  • Manufacturing (up 2.3%)
  • Transport, postal and warehousing (up 2.0%)

The lowest three movers were:

  • Construction (down 2.3%)
  • Administrative and support services (down 0.9%)
  • Arts and recreation services (down 0.4%)


Consumer Price Index


The all-groups CPI reported an increase of 0.3% in the March 2020 quarter, following a change of 0.7% in the December 2019 quarter [ABS catalogue 6401.0]. The annual change from March 2019 to March 2020 was 2.2%. 

 

The most significant price rises in the quarter were:

  • Vegetables (up 9.1%)
  • Pharmaceutical products (up 5.1%)
  • Secondary education (up 3.4%)
  • Tobacco (up 2.0%)

The most significant offsetting price falls in the quarter were:

  • Automotive fuel (down 6.0%)
  • Domestic holiday travel and accommodation (down 3.1%)
  • International holiday travel and accommodation (down 3.0%)

 

CPI - % change by location

 
  March quarter 2020 (%) Year to March 2020 (%)
Sydney 0.3 2.0
Melbourne 0.8 2.7
Brisbane -0.1 1.8
Adelaide 0.3 2.4
Perth 0.4 2.1
Hobart 0.4 3.4
Darwin 0.3 1.5
Canberra 0.4 2.0
Weighted average of eight capital cities 0.3 2.2
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



Employment


In April 2020, the seasonally adjusted national unemployment figure increased to 6.2% (ABS catalogue 6202.0). The unemployment rate for males and females are 6.6% (seasonally adjusted) and 5.8% (seasonally adjusted) respectively.

 

The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate for April 2020 decreased  compared to last month at 63.5%, with male and female participation rates recorded at 68.9% and 58.4% respectively.

 

There were 12,418,700 people employed nationally in April 2020, with full-time employment decreasing to 8,656,900 and part-time employment decreasing to 3,761,800 according to seasonally adjusted figures.


On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rates for each state in April 2020 were:

  • New South Wales – 6.0%
  • Victoria – 6.0%
  • Queensland – 6.8%
  • South Australia – 7.2%
  • Western Australia – 6.0%
  • Tasmania – 6.2%

 

Australian labour force data  2019-2020

 
  Unemployment rate (%) Participant rate (%)
April 2019 5.2 65.7
May 2019 5.2 65.9
June 2019 5.3 66.0
July 2019 5.3 66.0
August 2019 5.3 66.2
September 2019 5.2 66.1
October 2019 5.3 66.0
November 2019 5.2 65.9
December 2019 5.1 66.0
January 2020 5.3 66.1
February 2020 5.1 66.0
March 2020 5.2 66.0
April 2020 6.2 63.5
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



Wage Price Index

 

The Wage Price Index [ABS catalogue 6345.0] measures changes in wage and salary costs for a selection of jobs, unaffected by changes in the quality and quantity of work performed.

 

Movements in total hourly rates of pay (excluding bonuses) - original figures

 
  March 2020 quarter  (%) change March 2020 year (%) change
All employees in Australia 0.4 2.2
Private sector 0.4 2.1
Public sector 0.5 2.3
New South Wales 0.4 2.1
Victoria 0.4 2.5
Queensland 0.6 2.1
South Australia 0.4 2.3
Western Australia 0.4 1.8
Tasmania 0.3 2.4
Northern Territory 0.3 2.4
Australian Capital Territory 0.5 2.3
Mining 0.4 2.0
Manufacturing 0.5 2.0
Electricity, gas and water and waste services 0.3 2.6
Construction 0.2 1.8
Wholesale trade 0.3 2.0
Retail trade 0.2 1.8
Accommodation and food services 0.2 2.2
Transport, postal and warehousing 0.4 2.1
Information media and telecommunications 0.4 1.6
Financial and insurance services 0.5 2.1
Rental, hiring and real estate services 0.4 2.2
Professional, scientific and technical services 0.4 2.2
Administrative and support service 0.2 2.0
Public administration and safety 0.4 2.2
Education and training 0.9 2.2
Health care and social assistance 0.6 3.0
Arts and recreation services 0.7 2.7
Other services 0.7 2.2
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no warranty is given in respect thereof.


 

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