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Minimum wage set to rise by $19.40 a week

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Senator the Hon Christopher Evans

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations 3 June, 2011

Media release

Minimum wage set to rise by $19.40 a week

The Minister for Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed today’s decision by Fair Work Australia to assist the lowest paid in our community by raising minimum wages by $19.40 a week.

The decision will benefit more than 1.36 million Australians who rely on awards to set their pay and will ensure they get a fairer share of the benefits of Australia’s economic strength.

“This decision will be welcomed by those workers on low incomes who are doing it tough,” Senator Evans said.

“When you are juggling mortgage or rental payments, bills and family groceries, an increase of $19.40 per week can make a real difference.”

“Today’s decision also highlights the continued strength of the Australian economy, translating this into real gains for those who need it most.”

The decision by Fair Work Australia lifts the National Minimum Wage to $589.30 per week, an increase of 3.4 per cent.

Senator Evans said the independent umpire had acknowledged the impact natural disasters had on many businesses, particularly small business. This was balanced against the fact that the Australian economy continues to perform well.

Fair Work Australia noted;

“Labour productivity is growing, the profit share remains at historically high levels and underlying inflation is well within the RBA’s medium-term target band. Employment is growing, unemployment is reducing and labour force participation remains high.

“In the circumstances a significant increase is appropriate which will improve the real value of award wages and assist the living standards of the low paid.”

This is the second decision of the independent umpire since the Fair Work system commenced, delivering an 8.4 per cent increase to minimum wages over the last two years.

Workers will see the additional pay in the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2011.

“The Government will continue its focus on the strong economic management that has seen Australia fight of the global recession, create 700,000 jobs since coming to office, with the Budget forecasting another 500,000 jobs over the next two years,” Senator Evans said.

More information about the new pay rates for each modern award will be available shortly at or by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

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