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Here’s what the average Australian earns. How do you compare? - featured image

Here’s what the average Australian earns. How do you compare?

Ever wondered what the average Australian earns and how you compare?

The recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data says the average full time worker earneds $1,604.90 in November, up 2.4% from a year earlier.

Some other key facts: 26789463_l

  • Average Australian full-time ordinary earnings grew by 2.4% in the year to November.
  • With inflation growing by 1.8% over 2018, real hourly wages grew by half a per cent.
  • Including all workers and payments, average weekly earnings stood at $1,225.
  • Men still get paid more than women on average, although earning for women grew faster over the year.
  • Public sector average earnings are still higher and growing faster than those in the private sector.
  • Average earnings remain highest in the ACT. Tasmania is still the lowest across the country.

Gender pay gap at a record low

These latest figures show the national gender pay gap has again dropped, reaching its lowest point in over 20 years, seeing a record high of women in full-time work.

Using the latest ABS Average Weekly Earnings trend series data, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has calculated the national gender pay gap as 14.1% for full-time employees, a difference of $239.80 per week.

On average, women working full-time earned $1455.80 while men working full-time earned $1695.60. 

Financy attributes the drop in pay gap to a record high in the number of women in full-time work.

If you're wondering why the pay gap, research shows the main factors contributing to the gender pay gap are:

  • discrimination and bias in hiring and pay decisions
  • women and men working in different industries and different jobs, with female-dominated industries and jobs attracting lower wages
  • women’s disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work
  • lack of workplace flexibility to accommodate caring and other responsibilities, especially in senior roles
  • women’s greater time out of the workforce impacting career progression and opportunities.

Despite our strong jobs market, it is not translating into higher wages.

This graph from JP Morgan shows "real" (inflation adjusted) wages growth is low.



Table 1: Average Weekly Earnings, Key Figures, Australia, November 2018

Nov 2018
Nov 2017 to Nov 2018
% change

Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings
1 604.90
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings
1 666.20
All employees average weekly total earnings
1 225.00
Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings
1 605.50
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings
1 668.10
All employees average weekly total earnings
1 225.30

Source: ABS 

Expert commentary

Leading economist Dr. Andrew Wilson commented:- Rba
Latest wages data reveals that the recent weak growth trend has stalled with the results remaining below RBA predictions which will continue to fuel speculation of near-term rate cut.
The ABS annual growth of 2.3% for the December qtr total Wage Index  was the same as recorded for the previous September quarter.
Also annual growth for the Total Index remained unchanged, the Private Sector Index reported annual growth of 2.3% - the best result for that sector since December 2014.
A sustained revival in wages growth to significantly higher levels than current still-weak levels will be required to moderate growing concerns of declining domestic consumption and its impact on the economy.
And if that doesn’t occur - as the RBA has belatedly realised - more stimulation will be required – and soon.

About Kate Forbes is a National Director at Metropole assisting our high net worth clients safely grow, protect and pass on their wealth. She has 25 years of investment experience in financial markets on two continents, is qualified in multiple disciplines, and is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
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