The real wages of Australians are going backwards as resources companies finally crimp workers' salaries.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show wages grew 2.6 per cent in the 12 months to the end of March - the equal slowest growth in the 17 years the bureau has kept a wage price index.
In the 12 months to the end of March, inflation rose 2.9 per cent, leaving overall wages going backwards 0.3 percentage points.
WA private wages, after growing at the fastest rate in the country for several years, lifted just 2.3 per cent in the past year.
Public sector wages rose 4.1 per cent over the same period.
Mining wages are now growing at just 2.4 per cent.