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Australia's 2.5% minimum wage rise: there's something in it for you, and the economy

By John Buchanan, Professor, Discipline of Business Information Systems, University of Sydney Business School, University of Sydney
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Australia has a serious wage problem. Over the past decade wages for all but the top 20% of income earners have flat-lined.

This is part of the longer-term problem concerning productivity and wages identified by groups like the OECD – namely, workers have not shared in productivity gains, with “labour market flexibility” experiments mostly to blame.

So the decision of the Fair Work Commission – the guardian of what’s left of Australia’s historical approach to ensuring decent pay – to increase the minimum wage by 2.5% is significant.

The commission reviews the…


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