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Wednesday, 10 June 1970


Mr CLYDE CAMERON (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   What are the conceptual and technical difficulties in separating out the contribution made by technological change to the purchasing power of the nominal minimum wage for a standard working week.

(2)   What changes have occurred during the past 20 years in (a) the stock of capital per Australian worker, (b) movements in the terms of trade, (c) the educational level of the work force, (d) managerial efficiency and (e) economies of scale, which have influenced the real purchasing power of the nominal minimum wage for a standard week.


Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   There are many factors contributing to the purchasing power of the nominal minimum wage for a standard working week', and the impact of each is widely diffused and frequently interrelated with other factors. Moreover, random occurrences, such as drought and international disturbances often affect economic progress. As a result, it becomes impossible to make a useful assessment of the impact of any particular factor such as technological change.

(2)   The changes that have occurred in five of the six factors mentioned cannot be readily quantified because of lack of statistical data. The movements in the terms of trade are shown in the table below:

 







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