Workers’ Pay Globally Hasn’t Kept Up With Inflation
Kanebridge News
    HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $1,613,207 (-0.60%)       Melbourne $969,484 (-0.54%)       Brisbane $991,125 (-0.15%)       Adelaide $906,278 (+1.12%)       Perth $892,773 (+0.03%)       Hobart $726,294 (-0.04%)       Darwin $657,141 (-1.18%)       Canberra $1,003,818 (-0.83%)       National $1,045,092 (-0.37%)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING PRICES AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $754,460 (+0.43%)       Melbourne $495,941 (+0.11%)       Brisbane $587,365 (+0.63%)       Adelaide $442,425 (-2.43%)       Perth $461,417 (+0.53%)       Hobart $511,031 (+0.36%)       Darwin $373,250 (+2.98%)       Canberra $492,184 (-1.10%)       National $537,029 (+0.15%)                HOUSES FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 9,787 (-116)       Melbourne 14,236 (+55)       Brisbane 8,139 (+64)       Adelaide 2,166 (-18)       Perth 5,782 (+59)       Hobart 1,221 (+5)       Darwin 279 (+4)       Canberra 924 (+36)       National 42,534 (+89)                UNITS FOR SALE AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 8,638 (-81)       Melbourne 8,327 (-30)       Brisbane 1,728 (-19)       Adelaide 415 (+10)       Perth 1,444 (+2)       Hobart 201 (-10)       Darwin 392 (-7)       Canberra 1,004 (-14)       National 22,149 (-149)                HOUSE MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $820 (+$20)       Melbourne $620 ($0)       Brisbane $630 (-$5)       Adelaide $615 (+$5)       Perth $675 ($0)       Hobart $560 (+$10)       Darwin $700 ($0)       Canberra $680 ($0)       National $670 (+$4)                UNIT MEDIAN ASKING RENTS AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney $750 ($0)       Melbourne $590 (-$5)       Brisbane $630 (+$5)       Adelaide $505 (-$5)       Perth $620 (-$10)       Hobart $460 (-$10)       Darwin $580 (+$20)       Canberra $550 ($0)       National $597 (-$)                HOUSES FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 6,197 (+313)       Melbourne 6,580 (-5)       Brisbane 4,403 (-85)       Adelaide 1,545 (-44)       Perth 2,951 (+71)       Hobart 398 (-13)       Darwin 97 (+4)       Canberra 643 (+11)       National 22,814 (+252)                UNITS FOR RENT AND WEEKLY CHANGE     Sydney 10,884 (-22)       Melbourne 6,312 (0)       Brisbane 2,285 (-54)       Adelaide 357 (-14)       Perth 783 (-14)       Hobart 129 (-14)       Darwin 132 (+6)       Canberra 831 (+15)       National 21,713 (-97)                HOUSE ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND       Sydney 2.64% (↑)      Melbourne 3.33% (↑)        Brisbane 3.31% (↓)       Adelaide 3.53% (↓)       Perth 3.93% (↓)     Hobart 4.01% (↑)      Darwin 5.54% (↑)      Canberra 3.52% (↑)      National 3.34% (↑)             UNIT ANNUAL GROSS YIELDS AND TREND         Sydney 5.17% (↓)       Melbourne 6.19% (↓)     Brisbane 5.58% (↑)      Adelaide 5.94% (↑)        Perth 6.99% (↓)       Hobart 4.68% (↓)     Darwin 8.08% (↑)      Canberra 5.81% (↑)        National 5.78% (↓)            HOUSE RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.8% (↑)      Melbourne 0.7% (↑)      Brisbane 0.7% (↑)      Adelaide 0.4% (↑)      Perth 0.4% (↑)      Hobart 0.9% (↑)      Darwin 0.8% (↑)      Canberra 1.0% (↑)      National 0.7% (↑)             UNIT RENTAL VACANCY RATES AND TREND       Sydney 0.9% (↑)      Melbourne 1.1% (↑)      Brisbane 1.0% (↑)      Adelaide 0.5% (↑)      Perth 0.5% (↑)      Hobart 1.4% (↑)      Darwin 1.7% (↑)      Canberra 1.4% (↑)      National 1.1% (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL HOUSES AND TREND         Sydney 29.8 (↓)     Melbourne 31.7 (↑)      Brisbane 30.6 (↑)        Adelaide 25.2 (↓)       Perth 35.2 (↓)     Hobart 35.1 (↑)      Darwin 44.2 (↑)        Canberra 31.5 (↓)     National 32.9 (↑)             AVERAGE DAYS TO SELL UNITS AND TREND         Sydney 29.7 (↓)       Melbourne 30.5 (↓)     Brisbane 27.8 (↑)        Adelaide 22.8 (↓)     Perth 38.4 (↑)        Hobart 37.5 (↓)       Darwin 37.3 (↓)       Canberra 40.5 (↓)       National 33.1 (↓)           
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Workers’ Pay Globally Hasn’t Kept Up With Inflation

Decline in purchasing power could reverse this year if prices rise more slowly

By TOM FAIRLESS
Mon, Feb 20, 2023 8:55amGrey Clock 4 min

Wage growth across advanced economies is plateauing or declining from high levels. For central banks, it is good news: There are no signs of a spiral in which wages push up prices, which push up wages again. That makes it more likely inflation could decline without a significant increase in unemployment.

For workers, though, it is less positive. Wages rose faster last year than in the previous two years, but not as much as prices across major advanced economies, according to projections by the International Labour Organization. Workers’ purchasing power—their average inflation-adjusted wage—was lower last year than in 2019, before the pandemic, according to the report. So despite strong demand for workers and ultralow unemployment, labor’s share of economic output shrank in many advanced economies.

In the U.S., nominal wage growth—meaning unadjusted for inflation—has slowed sharply since the middle of last year, according to a variety of measures. Average hourly earnings for private-sector nonfarm workers rose 4.4% in the 12 months through January, down from 5.6% last March and less than the 6.4% rise in consumer prices in the year through January.

In Europe, average wage growth across six countries declined to 4.9% in December from 5.2% in November, according to a report by Ireland’s central bank and the recruitment company Indeed, which tracks advertised wages across millions of online job ads. Inflation in the eurozone ended the year at 9.2%.

In Canada, central bank chief Tiff Macklem highlighted easing wage growth to explain the bank’s recent decision to pause interest-rate increases after raising its key rate to 4.5%, the highest level in 15 years.

“Wage growth is currently running between 4% and 5% and appears to have plateaued within that range… The risk of a wage-price spiral has diminished,” Mr. Macklem said.

Economists have noted that pay growth tends to lag, not lead, inflation as workers and employers adjust pay expectations to the prices they have experienced. Thus, the recent decline in pay growth might reflect, with a lag, the fact inflation peaked around summer and fall of last year in major economies like the U.S. and eurozone and has since declined, as energy prices fell sharply and global supply-chain pressures eased.

Why, though, did wages never catch up with inflation in the first place? One reason is that wages tend to be sticky, changing relatively slowly and sluggishly—over months and years—while prices can change more rapidly. Firms might be wary of raising wages aggressively since cutting them later would be bad for morale.

Now, slowing economic growth and the threat of layoffs might be tempering workers’ demands, said Andrea Garnero, an economist with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Labor unions in Europe have grown more concerned about job security than wages, he said.

Workers’ pay demands have been reasonable in part because their incomes were supported by government aid during the pandemic and energy crisis, said Gabriel Makhlouf, governor of Ireland’s central bank. “People understand that they can make things worse if they require the wrong [pay] deal,” he said in an interview.

Crucially, the number of workers, which shrank in the first months of the pandemic, is rebounding in many advanced economies, helping to ease shortages.

Some workers who left the labor force during the pandemic are being tempted back as pandemic savings dwindle and are eroded by inflation. Almost 83% of Americans ages 25-54 are working or actively looking for work, roughly back to the pre pandemic rate, according to the U.S. Labor Department. About 86.5% of Europeans ages 25-54 have jobs or are actively searching, 1 percentage point above prepandemic levels. The U.K. stands out for a decline in its labor-force participation coupled with unusually strong wage growth, suggesting that a shortage of workers could be driving pay higher.

Immigration has also rebounded strongly in recent months, hitting record levels in Canada, Spain and Germany as some governments try to make up for shortfalls during the pandemic.

In the U.S., net international migration added more than a million people to the population in the year through mid-2022, the Census Bureau said. Migrant workers could have helped fuel January’s robust 517,000 increase in nonfarm payrolls while keeping wage inflation moderate, said Torsten Slok, chief economist at Apollo Global Management. The same forces could be at play in Europe, he said.

History suggests that workers often fail to claw back losses from high inflation. In the U.S., periods of high inflation were, in general, periods of lower real-wage growth, according to research by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. High inflation in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s led to real income losses for workers, according to the country’s central bank.

But there are reasons to think real wages might recover soon. Wage growth remains around its fastest in at least a decade across a range of advanced economies. It could stay elevated as wage bargaining proceeds.

Absent a deep recession, unemployment could stay low enough to preserve some bargaining power for workers. The labor supply is being constrained by aging populations across advanced economies and increased worker absences due to illness, often Covid-19.

And markets are betting inflation will fall rapidly this year across advanced economies. If so, it could well fall below wage growth, so real wages would rise—along with workers’ share of the economic pie.



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Along with pay rates, the latest report from the ACSI shows bonuses are no longer based on exceptional results

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The CEOs of the ASX 200 were paid a little less in FY23 compared to the year before, but bonuses appear to have become the norm rather than a reward for outstanding results, according to the Australia Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI). ACSI has released its 23rd annual report documenting the CEOs’ realised pay, which combines base salaries, bonuses and other incentives.

The highest-paid CEO among Australian-domiciled ASX 200 companies in FY23 was Greg Goodman of Goodman Group, with realised pay of $27.34 million. Goodman Group is the ASX 200’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) with a global portfolio of $80.5 billion in assets. The highest-paid CEO among foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies was Mick Farrell of ResMed with realised pay of $47.58 million. ResMed manufactures CPAP machines to treat sleep apnoea.

The realised pay for the CEOs of the largest 100 companies by market capitalisation fell marginally from a median of $3.93 million in FY22 to $3.87 million in FY23. This is the lowest median in the 10 years since ACSI began basing its report on realised pay data. The median realised pay for the CEOs of the next largest 100 companies also fell from $2.1million to $1.95 million.

However, 192 of the ASX 200 CEOs took home a bonus, and Ed John, ACSI’s executive manager of stewardship, is concerned that bonuses are becoming “a given”.

“At a time when companies are focused on productivity and performance, it is critical that bonuses are only paid for exceptional outcomes,” Mr John said. He added that boards should set performance thresholds for CEO bonuses at appropriate levels.

ACSI said the slightly lower median realised pay of ASX 200 CEOs indicated greater scrutiny from shareholders was having an impact. There was a record 41 strike votes against executive pay at ASX 300 annual general meetings (AGMs) in 2023. This indicated an increasing number of shareholders were feeling unhappy with the executive pay levels at the companies in which they were invested.

A strike vote means 25 percent or more of shareholders voted against a company’s remuneration report. If a second strike vote is recorded at the next AGM, shareholders can vote to force the directors to stand for re-election.

10 highest-paid ASX 200 CEOs in FY23

1. Mick Farrell, ResMed, $47.58 million*
2. Robert Thomson, News Corporation, $41.53 million*
3. Greg Goodman, Goodman Group, $27.34 million
4. Shemara Wikramanayake, Macquarie Group, $25.32 million
5. Mike Henry, BHP Group, $19.68 million
6. Matt Comyn, Commonwealth Bank, $10.52 million
7. Jakob Stausholm, Rio Tinto, $10.47 million
8. Rob Scott, Wesfarmers, $9.57 million
9. Ron Delia, Amcor, $9.33 million*
10. Colin Goldschmidt, Sonic Healthcare, $8.35 million

Source: ACSI. Foreign-domiciled ASX 200 companies*

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