Falling wages and rising unemployment is 'wake up call'

THE nation's biggest business group says a 2.6% rise in wages in the past year, still below inflation, is evidence of the need for "workplace relations reform".

ABS data released today showed a 0.6% rise in wages in the June quarter, up from 2% in the March quarter, despite not reaching the 3% CPI rate.

The data also showed wages in the past year in each state were higher in the public sector than in private business, with Victoria and South Australian public servants the only ones, on average to get a pay rise above 3% in the past year.

It also follows last week's rise in the jobless rate to 6.4%, a figure that for those aged 15 to 29 years old rose to just over 14%.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry's chief operating officer John Osborn said the falling wages and rising unemployment was a "wake up call" to politicians.

He argued, that "excessive regulation" was still to blame for "holding back job creation", due to the costs of employing staff being "out of step" with productivity growth.