Fair Work Commission staff may conduct or commission research as part of the annual wage review. On 15 July 2016, a Statement was issued inviting parties to comment on the draft Research program and provide submissions regarding future research proposals. The draft research program included research yet to be undertaken from the medium-term research program.
In undertaking the research program, a Minimum Wages Research Group is consulted comprising representatives nominated by:
In addition to research projects, a statistical report and research reference list are also published for annual wage reviews and is published separately from the research reports.
Research reference list – Annual Wage Review 2016–17 (PDF) – updated 28 February 2017
This paper summarises the scope and findings of each research report listed below and also provides a discussion of the Research reference list and Statistical report.
The report examined the reasons for recent trends in employees covered by collective agreements. The project will be undertaken in two stages. The first stage has been published for the 2016–17 Review. The second stage will incorporate data from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours confidentialised unit record file for 2016, and will be published later in 2017.
The report analysed the characteristics of the youth labour market, and presented comparisons over time. Characteristics included employment type, hours worked, educational attainment, and industry and occupation of those employed. Differences in unemployment and underemployment between youth who are and who are not full-time students was also explored.
The report analysed data from the HILDA survey to examine award-reliant workers across the distribution of household disposable income. The research focused on the location of award-reliant workers in the household income distribution and the characteristics of award-reliant workers across the household income distribution.
The report explored a range of potential supply-side and demand-side factors affecting apprenticeship and traineeship commencements and completions in Australia as discussed in literature. The first part of the report provides a legislative and policy background, an overview of apprentice and trainee trends over time, and an examination of supply-side factors; while the second part deals with demand-side factors.
This project would track the changes over time in the extent of underemployment for those who are employed part-time, and its relation with unemployment. It would compare and analyse the characteristics of persons who are underemployed with persons unemployed, including over time. The characteristics that would be considered include gender, age, student status, location, industry and occupation. For underemployed workers, the characteristics for analysis would also include method of setting pay, hours worked and work schedules. It would seek information on the duration of underemployment and mobility to alternative employment states.