ABS statistics show that the seasonally adjusted Wage Price Index (WPI) rose 0.7% in the June quarter bringing the WPI for the year to 2.6% which marks progress but still falls well short of the inflation rate at 6.1%.

Chief Executive Officer, Dominique Lamb said that while this is a good thing it is important to understand that real wage growth has averaged at only 0.1% over the past decade meaning workers and small businesses are being left behind by inflationary rises.

“We need to see real wages increase across the board or Australians will be unable to keep up with the rising cost of living. This affects consumer confidence which negatively impacts buying behaviour which hurts the retail sector as well as the economy,” Ms. Lamb said.

“With increasing wholesale prices, electricity costs, and more, small businesses will pay out of pocket for wage increases to compensate struggling employees. This will eventually drive businesses into the ground and is not the kind of position a good business should find themselves in.

“The NRA hopes for consistent growth in real wages that eventually match inflation rates so Australians and small businesses can continue to thrive comfortably. We will continue to advocate for wage increases during this difficult time in the retail sector,” she said.

The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia.  It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast food sectors for close to 100 years.

For more information contact the NRA’s media unit on 0467 792 013 or 07 3221 9222.