Remuneration Trends and Insights

Key Economic Indicators

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

 

 

April 2022

 

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:

  • Positive GDP growth
  • Rising inflation
  • Low unemployment rate
  • Low wage price growth



GDP growth


GDP increased by 3.4% (seasonally adjusted) in the December quarter, bringing the annual GDP growth to December 2021 to 4.2%.

The December 2021 quarter results showed positive growth in all but two of the 19 industry divisions (seasonally adjusted). 

The top three positive movers in the quarter were:

  • Accommodation and food services (up 26.1%)
  • Other services (up 15.4%)
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing ( up 9.0%)

The two negative movers in the quarter were:

  • Mining (down 1.0%)
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services (down 1.0%)

Consumer Price Index


The all-groups CPI reported an increase of 2.1% in the March 2022 quarter, following a change of 0.8% and 1.3% in the last two consecutive quarters (September and December 2021) [ABS catalogue 6401.0]. The annual change from March 2021 to March 2022 was 5.2%.  However, the trimmed mean which excludes large, one-off price impacts was 3.7% for the same period, up from 2.6% in the December quarter.

 

The most significant price rises in the quarter were:

  • Education (up 4.5%)
  • Transport (up 4.2%)
  • Food and non-alcoholic beverages (up 2.8%)

Only one category reported a price fall in the quarter:

  • Clothing and footwear (down 0.6%)

 

CPI - % change by location

 
  March quarter 2022 (%) Year to March 2022 (%)
Sydney 1.7 4.4
Melbourne 2.3 4.5
Brisbane 2.2 6.0
Adelaide 1.9 4.7
Perth 3.3 7.6
Hobart 2.0 5.8
Darwin 2.1 5.5
Canberra 2.2 5.4
Weighted average of eight capital cities 2.1 5.1
 

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics



Employment


In March 2022, the seasonally adjusted national unemployment figure remained steady at 4.0% (ABS catalogue 6202.0). The unemployment rate for males and females is 4.2% and 3.7% (seasonally adjusted) respectively.

 

The seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate for March 2022 was  unchanged compared to the prior month at 66.4%, with male and female participation rates recorded at 70.7% and 62.2% respectively.

 

There were 13,389,900 people employed nationally in March 2022, with full-time employment increasing to 9,248,600 and part-time employment decreasing to 4,141,300 according to seasonally adjusted figures.


On a seasonally adjusted basis, the unemployment rates for each state in March 2022 were:

  • New South Wales – 3.9%
  • Victoria – 4.0%
  • Queensland – 4.0%
  • South Australia – 4.9%
  • Western Australia – 3.4%
  • Tasmania – 4.5%
  • Northern Territory – 4.1%

 

Australian labour force data  2020-2021

 
  Unemployment rate (%) Participant rate (%)
March 2021 5.7 66.3
April 2021 5.5 65.9
May 2021 5.1 66.2
June 2021 4.9 66.2
July 2021 4.6 66.0
August 2021 4.5 65.2
September 2021 4.6 64.5
October 2021 5.2 64.7
November 2021 4.6 66.1
December 2021 4.2 66.1
January 2022 4.2 66.2
February 2022 4.0 66.4
March 2022 4.0 66.4
 

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

 
  December 2021 quarter  (%) change December 2021 year (%) change
All employees in Australia 0.6 2.3
Private sector 0.6 2.4
Public sector 0.7 2.1
New South Wales 0.7 2.4
Victoria 0.5 2.3
Queensland 0.8 2.4
South Australia 0.5 2.1
Western Australia 0.5 2.0
Tasmania 0.6 3.0
Northern Territory 0.5 2.1
Australian Capital Territory 0.7 2.6
Mining 0.6 1.8
Manufacturing 0.9 2.5
Electricity, gas and water and waste services 0.6 1.3
Construction 0.4 2.4
Wholesale trade 0.6 2.4
Retail trade 1.2 2.6
Accommodation and food services 1.0 3.5
Transport, postal and warehousing 0.4 1.8
Information media and telecommunications 1.1 2.2
Financial and insurance services 0.9 2.3
Rental, hiring and real estate services 0.8 2.5
Professional, scientific and technical services 0.4 2.5
Administrative and support service 0.5 2.0
Public administration and safety 0.7 2.3
Education and training 0.3 2.1
Health care and social assistance 0.6 2.4
Arts and recreation services 0.7 2.0
Other services 0.6 2.3
 

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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