The McGowan Labor Government has welcomed the decision to increase the State minimum wage by $16 a week.

Today, the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission increased the State minimum wage to $708.90 a week starting from July 1, 2017.

The increases apply to employees who are paid the minimum wage or award rates in the State industrial relations system.

Award rates of pay below $791.90 a week will also increase by $16, while award rates equal to or higher than that figure will increase by 2.3 per cent.

About one-third of WA employees are covered by the State industrial relations system, with 300,000 people affected by the Commission’s decision.

The decision was based on the subdued state of WA’s economy, low levels of business profitability and confidence, and the need for low-paid workers to remain in employment.

WA’s economic forecast shows signs of future improvement in the next couple of years, but those improvements are not yet evident in the broader economy.

Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said, “The Commission’s decision to award fair and meaningful increases will greatly assist the low paid and help maintain a strong safety net for employees. The new State minimum wage is still above the new national minimum wage, which is $694.90 a week. I’m very pleased the Commission rejected a submission to not increase the minimum wage.”

A full copy of the decision can be found at http://www.wairc.wa.gov.au