A decade of increases to the minimum wage did nothing to destroy jobs and actually increased hours worked, a new report has found. Source: News.com.au.
Unions are arguing for workers to get $50 more a week when the Fair Work Commission decides soon how much to increase the minimum wage.
The Reserve Bank of Australia looked at the regular minimum wage rises from 1998 to 2008 and found they had no impact on jobs.
Researcher James Bishop yesterday released his study, which showed the small, regular increases were mostly passed on to workers.
“These adjustments appear to have little adverse effect on hours worked or job loss,” Mr Bishop's report said.
In fact, his study found jobs that had larger wage rises also had larger increases in the number of hours worked.
“I also find that award wage increases do not have a statistically significant effect on the job destruction rate,” Mr Bishop said.
“Again, if anything, the point estimates suggest that the job destruction rate actually declines when the award wage is increased.”
ACTU secretary Sally McManus called on the Fair Work Commission to push the minimum wage up 7.2 per cent when it makes its decision in coming weeks.
“Australia needs a pay rise. Corporations are making record profits while the rest of us continue to struggle,” she said yesterday.
Last week, the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations told the Fair Work Commission that the minimum wage was “manifestly inadequate”, the ACBC Media Blog reported.
In a submission to the Fair Work Commission, the ACCER called for an increase in the national minimum wage of $40.10 per week, to take it to $735.00 per week. Such an increase would be a “first step” in helping to adjust the rate to meet the objective of the national minimum wage and provide the average Australian family with a decent standard of living.
Minimum wage increases 'didn't hurt jobs' (News.com.au)
Catholic Church calls for boost in minimum wage (ACBC Media Blog)
Minimum wage rises don't cost jobs or work hours, RBA research says (Sydney Morning Herald)