The Minimum Wage: Up 45 Cents An Hour

Once a year, the Minimum Wage Panel assesses what the minimum wage should be for the lowest-paid workers in Australia. Its decision? From July 1, the minimum wage will go up by 45 cents an hour. Don't drink it all at once.

Picture by Jeremy Keith

Here's the more detailed explanation from Fair Work Australia:

The national minimum wage will be $606.40 per week or $15.96 per hour. The hourly rate has been calculated on the basis of a 38 hour week for a full-time employee. This constitutes an increase of $17.10 per week or 45 cents per hour.

45 cents an hour is, clearly, not a large amount. But that doesn't mean the move will be popular with some employer groups. The Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA) argued that the minimum wage should go up by less than half that amount: just $8 a week. This is, I guess, part of the association's attempts to compete with overseas retailers.


    $15.96/hour is still between $5-$10/hr more than almost every other minimum wage award in the world.

    The Average in Europe is 7 euros/hour, US is $5.50/hr, Canada is $9/hr.

      Yeah - but you need to compare like with like. In terms of actual buying power, out minimum wage is decent, but not mind blowing. Stuff in the US is at least half price, and their housing is far more affordable. That said, I like having a high minimum wage and the dole - less incentive to become a mugger if you can make a decent living working for it.

        What you might hear about the US in terms of buying power is flawed, especially in larger cities where prices aren't really that much better. Inner city housing is incredibly expensive and the cheap, good housing is in very distant suburban areas with low employment opportunities that require long commutes.

        $7.50*40 is only $300/week, and most minimum wage jobs don't include things like medical insurance. Housing in that wage bracket is usually in very poor and dangerous areas, the cheap food you hear about is all high fat, high sugar garbage and in many areas public transport is very bad so you will be wasting a lot of time getting around. Then you need to factor in bills like energy, water, phone, internet and if you have kids, childcare, nappies etc.

        Our minimum wage effectively includes health insurance and is enough to get you a decent shared rental in a safe area with ability to cover bills, food and so on. It's not low at all when you take into account the minimum wage in the UK, a very expensive place to live, is even lower.

      Before anyone corrects me, that US average takes into account tipped workers, who aren't covered by the minimum wage award since they are apparently taking in more than those workers.

      Yes but look at what other occupations pay. Australia is a very high wage paying nation. That's why we pay more for goods - because everyone that handles it gets paid more. Teachers in some states in the US get $25k a year (where the minimum wage is $8 an hour btw)

    anyone that complains about this is a moron, if your business is going to get rocky over an extra $17 a a week to your few minimum wage employees, your business has bigger issues clearly and if your earning that extra $17 and complain its not enough like others mentioned its alot better then many many other countries get on minimum wage

      THIS!!! If I could, I would upvote this comment a million times. Businesses who can't afford to pay our nation's most valuable need to figure out what they're doing wrong if they can't afford an extra $17 a week. Seriously, when will businesses ever realise that the key to strong purchasing power, is having the strong wages to match that power.

      So, if you pay everyone monkey brains, you'll eventually have nobody left who can buy you XXX latest product. Look at well unionised, social democratic country's in Scandinavia, etc. They can afford to buy locally made products because they earn a decent wage. The flow on effects of wage output helps the entire economy of a country. It's a no-brainier, but some people will continue to argue against wage increases, then cry fowl when they don't sell enough. It's all RELATIVE.

    What I don't understand is how they come up with an average wage for Australia at between $60,000 and $80,000 p/a. I here it all the time when the analysts are talking about housing etc. Buggered if I know of anyone in my area or family earning that much.

      because most average wage surveys dont count people who dont earn a wage (unemployed and sometimes even centerlink beneficiaries) in their calculations which means the outlying high wages skew the results because there are no lower end wages to balance them out , if there were a survey ont that included those earning 0 the outcome would be more on target with the 40k ish real average wage

      Averages are skewed by the highest wage earners - because such a massive number of people are now earning 6 figures, it has skewed the average over the whole pool of workers.

      The median is a much more accurate result, and that's around $44k.

    Most Pensioners would kill to get an extra .45c an hour. Funny how upset people get at increasing the minimum but there's no outcry at a maximum.
    Most major Bank CEOs will get more per hour than the weekly minimum wage but that's OK.
    And Antipodean if any more than 1% of the people in my area ore on anything like $60K I'd be amazed.

    You've got it real good here. Back home in England it's £6.08 for over 20yr olds. Equivalent to $9.68 Aus. Plus you get 0% casual loading if part-time, as opposed to the 25% here which is $19.95, i.e. Over double the pay.

    Sadly, as an apprentice, I don't see this increase at all and remain on my approx $10/hr with no other financial benefits available to me (well i could get centerlink payments of $7 a fortnight but the paperwork isn't worth the hassle)

      Yes, but you are getting paid to be trained - it is not a wage - that is a pretty good deal. If you went to Uni you would have to pay for the privilege and end up with a huge debt. You will finish your apprenticeship with pretty much a guaranteed job and probably no debt.

    Minimum waaaaage, HYAH! *whipcrack*

    For those telling everyone to stop complaining. Go $$%%$ yourself. The percentage increase in pay is no where near the percentage of rising cost. A country as wealthy as Australia should not have any people living under the poverty line. Everyone I know is educated, work 6 days a week and still have trouble making end's meet. And stop comparing us to other countries. There are starving children in Africa (due to political hunger), but that doesn't give the government and industry in Australia the right to tell us to deal with it as we are better off than children in Africa. People please don't let Australia become America.

      Too late!!

    Considering most retailers already pay more than the minimum wage who is actually complaining? Woolies/Coles/Myer pay their permanent staff around the $17.50 mark - Casuals get the loading on top of that.. Aldi pay their permanent staff $20 an hour. (Casuals are on a different rate so don't get the loading on top of that)

      Retail workers pay comes under an award, the minium wage is the lowest legal pay rate for people that dont come under an award.
      Trust me coles/woolies Etc. arnt paying more than they have to.

    What about people under 21 ? I am on less than the minimum eye I am 19 , 20 in a month and earn 28,000 , that's 450 per week after tax. Would love for labor to increase my wage considering I pay full fare of an adult on all transport ! They seem to only help out the dole bludgers!!!

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