More than 1.8 million Australians who are on the minimum wage will receive the increase from July 1

Australia’s national minimum wage has been lifted 2.4% to $17.70 per hour or $672.70 per week, the Fair Work Commission has said.

The wage rise represents an extra $15.80 per week in the pockets of working Australians, based on a 38 hour full-time week.

Australia’s Fair Work Commission (FWC) determined it was appropriate to boost the award rate which directly affects more than 1.86 million employees who are reliant upon minimum rates of pay.

The commission’s president, Iain Ross, said the national minimum wage would rise by 2.4% to $672.70 a week from 1 July – to $17.70 an hour.

“The level of increase … will not lead to inflationary pressure and is highly unlikely to have any negative impact on employment,” Ross said.

However, the decision has disappointed trade unions, which had been calling for a $30-a-week increase to halt what they called an alarming slide in living standards of the nation’s lowest-paid.

Australia’s influential employer groups hoping for a smaller lift of less than 2 per cent were also angered by the above-inflation pay rise, warning it could force job cuts.

The commission’s full bench, headed by president Iain Ross, said Australia’s “robust” economic climate provided a good opportunity to help employee households that had “low or very low disposable incomes”.

The Australian Retailers Association, which had called for an increase of no more than $7.90, said the ruling meant the pay rate for shop assistants would increase to $19.44 an hour.

“Retailers and young Australians have been reliant on pay rates to enable retail to bring on low-skilled young staff and increase their skill levels, reducing youth unemployment,” association executive director Russell Zimmerman said.

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Australia’s minimum wage compared to other countries

Australia – $17.70 per hour

United Kingdom – $14.66 (AU) per hour

New Zealand – $14.22 (AU) per hour

France – $14.98 (AU) per hour

Germany – $13.17 (AU) per hour

Canada – $10.45 to $13.81 (AU) per hour

United States – $10.08 (AU) per hour

Japan – $10.01 (AU) per hour

Mexico – $5.50 (AU) per hour

Czech Republic – $3.37 (AU) perhour

China – $1.68 – $3.93 (AU) per hour

Brazil – $341.16 (AU) per month

India – $3.09 – $7.44 (AU) per day

Courtesy of ABC