Labour markets and wages in Australia in 2012
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During 2012, the labour market continued to show considerable diversity in outcomes for different labour market groups. Employment growth was slower and the number of employees searching for full-time work rose alongside falling participation rates compared with the previous year. Overall, the employment situation for men was not looking as strong as for women, although women continued to exhibit higher levels of labour underutilisation. Earnings indicators suggest increased wages in low-paid sectors, although this was coming off a low base and may be indicative of catch-up for slow growth in recent years. The relative value of the minimum wage is now at its lowest level in six years, suggesting some evidence of growing earnings inequality. Recent debates in the mass media about labour productivity and industrial relations regulation appear to have limited grounding in national accounting and labour market data.
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