New research shows healthcare is the industry where staff are happiest with their wages, as two thirds of all Australian workers say they want a pay rise this year.
Global recruitment firm Adecco surveyed 3204 labour force participants and found healthcare workers are among the least likely to ask for a pay rise.
Less than 60 percent of healthcare workers who responded to Adecco said they would ask for a salary increase this year, compared with more than 70 percent of IT workers, real estate professionals and manufacturing workers.
Healthcare workers are believed to be relatively more satisfied as healthcare is one of the only sectors that has enjoyed salary growth over 3 percent.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics wage price index for the September quarter last year showed the healthcare sector had annual salary growth of 3.2 percent.
Economist Leith Van Onselen, who has worked for both Treasury and Goldman Sachs, said the healthcare and social assistance industry was now the nation’s biggest employer accounting for 13 percent of all jobs.
‘It has also experienced the fastest employment growth as well as the fastest wage growth over recent years,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Some of the recent wage increases across the industry can be attributed to the rollout of the $22 billion a year National Disability Insurance Scheme.’
Mr Van Onselen said the industry would provide the fastest employment growth over the next five years as the population ages, but wages growth would be dampened by the growing number of migrants working in the sector.
World Health Organisation figures on health workforce mobility showing in the eight years to July 2016, a total of 48,936 foreign nurses were granted visas along with 33,675 other medical workers.
Years of widespread wage stagnation, which economists say is caused by high levels of immigration, has left most of Australia’s workforce unhappy with their pay packet.
Adecco found in a recent survey that two in every three Australian workers, or 66 percent, would ask for a pay rise in 2020, up from 57 percent in 2019.
Rafael Moyano, CEO, Australia, The Adecco Group said there was growing wage tension in the workforce.
‘There is a gap between the economy’s ongoing poor wage growth and Australians’ expectations for fair remuneration as their skills and contributions at work increase,’ he said.
‘From an economic perspective, there are few signs that Australia’s poor wage growth will soon improve.’
A new survey by international recruitment agency Robert Half Australia, found 45 percent of all workers in Australia said getting a pay rise was their top career goal for 2020, as living costs rise.
The survey of 1000 respondents found more women than men were unhappy with their pay, with 46 percent of females saying they would seek a payrise this year compared with 44 percent of males.
Young workers are the most unhappy with their salaries, with 54 percent of workers aged between 18 and 34 ready to ask for more money.
‘Remuneration remains a primary concern for employees, particularly as households face rising financial pressures,’ said Nicole Gorton, Director of Robert Half Australia.
‘Recognising their value through a generous remuneration scheme can contribute significantly to their engagement and workplace happiness.’
Ms Gorton said skills development could also be a win-win for workers and organisations alike, as the employee gets a desired skill set while the organisation gets an experienced, skilled worker who feels supported.
Workers are not likely to get a payrise even if they ask for it with the Reserve Bank warning wages are not likely to rise in the next couple of years.
Reserve Bank of Australia Deputy Governor Guy Debelle said in November that wages growth has declined noticeably since around 2012 and was not going to rise in the next couple of years.
‘The share of jobs that experience a wage change of more than 4% has fallen from over one-third in the late 2000s to less than 10% of jobs in 2018,’ he said.
Wage increases fell below 3 percent per annum in 2012 and have not recovered.
Economist Leith Van Onselen, who has worked for Treasury and Goldman Sachs, said in January that record immigration levels are depressing wages growth with extra labour supply.
‘High immigration levels means there are more people competing for work. That, in turn, means there is less need for employers to offer higher pay to attract workers,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
‘A recent paper by Melbourne University Professor, Peter McDonald, found that around three quarters of employment growth in Australia between 2011 and 2016 was attributed purely to immigration. Thus, the strong reported jobs growth in Australia has been offset by more people coming here. This helps to explain the low wage growth.’