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Workers' share of national wealth at all-time low

Australian workers’ share of the wealth they create is now at its lowest level since relevant statistics started to be published.

A recent report by the Centre for Future Work (CFW), based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), found that workers’ share of national gross domestic product has now shrunk to 46.2%. The previous low was back in 1959 and was 46.4%.

The reason? A decline in collective bargaining and low minimum wage increases according to the author of the report, Jim Stanford.

Stanford said that in the 12 months up to the end of March 2017, Australia's quarterly GDP grew by $31.7bn, but just $3.1bn reflected higher compensation for workers in the form of wages, salaries and superannuation.

That’s 10 cents in every dollar of GDP produced.

Of course changes to Australia’s industrial laws over the last 20 years have been designed to achieve exactly this result by putting more and more obstacles in the path of collective i.e. union action.

And the recent moves to reduce penalty rates will make matters even worse as what amount to wage cuts flow through large sections of the workforce.

"Contrary to traditional assumptions, economic growth does not automatically trickle down into shared prosperity," he said. 

"It takes deliberate effort to ensure that the gains of economic growth are broadly shared, and right now that is not happening."

Source: Workforce

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