(Of course there are many other claims from other parties for annual wage reviews, but for the purposes of this post I am just going to focus on ACCI and the ACTU. Also, if I restrict the focus to those groups then I can just get the wage claims data from the Australian Financial Reviewwebsite rather than having to look it up myself!)
Below is a graph of ACCI’s and the ACTU’s claims for the increase in the federal/national minimum wage for each year since 1997. Note that ACCI did not actually propose a figure in 2006 and 2008. For 2006 I have assumed a figure of $12.50; this was their claim in 2010, when there also had not been a minimum wage increase for over a year. For 2008 I assumed a figure of $10, which has been a common claim made by ACCI over the past decade. These were NOT the claims made by ACCI in either of these years; however given that the eventual increases in 2006 and 2008 were both well above the amount that ACCI typically seeks removing these years would skew the results.
Using this average is a pretty good explanatory variable for the actual minimum wage increases each year. However, one should be careful not to make too much of this; since both series have been trending upwards over time (as wages and prices increase), this would increase the apparent explanatory power. The correlation between the two series is actually pretty low, particularly during the period in which the Australian Industrial Relations Commission set minimum wages (1997 to 2005).