In 2006 money wages grew more slowly than in 2005 and within Reserve Bank limits with no evidence of generalized wage pressures arising from skill shortages. The Reserve Bank raised interest rates three times during the year, further reducing housing affordability. Mortgagee sales of homes have exhibited a significant increase. There was intense media attention as to the impact on wages and conditions of the implementation of the Work Choices legislation. The long-awaited first decision by the Fair Pay Commission yielded an increase of AUS$27.36 per week for about 1m workers payable from 1 December. The lowest weekly wage rose to AUS$511.86, which represents a marginal real wage cut.
Journal of Industrial Relations Vol. 49, Issue 3, p. 327-344