Australia's wage price index climbed 0.8% in the March quarter, marking a 4.1% increase over the year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Private sector annual wage growth matched this rate, a decrease from the previous quarter's 4.2%, yet higher than the prior year's 3.8%, marking the first decline since September 2020.

Michelle Marquardt, ABS's head of prices statistics, noted that wage growth in all sectors has remained at or above 4% since September 2023, a feat not seen since March 2009.

The public sector's annual wage growth was 3.8%, down from December 2023's 4.3% but higher than the previous year's 3%. The quarter also saw a 0.8% wage increase, the joint smallest quarterly rise since December 2022.

Private sector wages outpaced public sector wages, growing 0.8% compared to 0.5%.

Marquardt highlighted that the public sector's modest increase mirrored March 2022's, attributing last year's lower result to implementing new agreements and wage cap adjustments.