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Understanding the latest Australian salary trends: a deep dive - featured image
By Chris Dang
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Understanding the latest Australian salary trends: a deep dive

What's happened to your salary recently?

Has it gone up?

The average Australian salary is $1,888.80 per week or $98,217.60 annually, according to the latest data provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This represents an increase of 4.5% year-on-year and you won’t be surprised to find out mining remains the highest-paying sector with an average salary of $2,951.80 per week.

Here's what's happened to average salaries over the last decade.

Persons Males ($) Females ($)
May 2012 $1,401.50 $1,493.60 $1,245.50
Nov 2012 $1,441.00 $1,533.00 $1,281.80
May 2013 $1,464.40 $1,555.70 $1,301.60
Nov 2013 $1483.50 $1,574.90 $1,323.40
May 2014 $1,502.50 $1,604.70 $1,329.90
Nov 2014 $1,528.40 $1,634.50 $1,351.70
May 2015 $1,537.30 $1,641.60 $1,368.50
Nov 2015 $1,556.50 $1,654.70 $1,392.00
May 2016 $1,568.30 $1,661.70 $1,411.30
Nov 2016 $1,584.30 $1,677.40 $1,430.20
May 2017 $1,594.10 $1,683.60 $1,444.90
Nov 2017 $1,615.30 $1,704.60 $1,466.60
May 2018 $1,631.10 $1,717.40 $1,488.20
Nov 2018 $1,651.30 $1,735.80 $1,512.90
May 2019 $1,681.60 $1,768.00 $1,542.60
Nov 2019 $1,706.20 $1,791.40 $1,567.90
May 2020 $1,762.20 $1,853.10 $1,618.00
Nov 2020 $1,757.20 $1,842.50 $1,619.40
May 2021 $1,783.70 $1,876.60 $1,633.20
Nov 2021 $1,794.60 $1,885.60 $1,648.70
May 2022 $1,816.10 $1,912.50 $1,665.80
November 2023 $1,888.80 $1,982.80 $1,744.80

Industry variations

Of course, some industries have enjoyed more salary growth than others.

The mining industry continues to lead in salary, averaging $2,951.80 per week.

Industry Persons Males Females
Mining $2,951.80 $3,049.30 $2,568.90
Manufacturing $1,695.60 $1,743.80 $1,523.60
Electricity, gas, water & waste services $2,212.60 $2,266.20 $2,023.40
Construction $1,779.90 $1,795.80 $1,674.10
Wholesale trade $1,742.00 $1,811.50 $1,581.60
Retail trade $1,435.10 $1,503.10 $1,346.10
Accommodation & food services $1,397.20 $1,454.30 $1,315.40
Transport, postal & warehousing $1,827.50 $1,855.50 $1,714.20
Information media & telecommunications $2,406.10 $2,536.20 $2,126.80
Financial & insurance services $2,182.70 $2,378.70 $1,962.30
Rental, hiring & real estate services $1,764.90 $1,895.70 $1,616.60
Professional, scientific & technical services $2,222.80 $2,468.60 $1,889.20
Administrative & support services $1,707.40 $1,827.70 $1,506.30
Public administration & safety $2,007.80 $2,056.10 $1,948.60
Education & training $1,995.10 $2,113.70 $1,932.80
Health care & social assistance $1,875.00 $2,188.90 $1,737.80
Arts & recreation services $1,698.80 $1,820.10 $1,537.20
Other services $1,439.10 $1,486.90 $1,375.10
Total all industries $1,888.80 $1,982.80 $1,375.10

This is reflective of the sector’s critical role in the Australian economy, particularly in resource-rich regions like Western Australia.

However, it's important to consider the potential volatility of resource-based economies and how global market dynamics could affect these wages.

The public sector shows higher average salaries compared to the private sector.

Males earn $2,183.30 weekly in the public sector versus $1,946.90 in the private sector, while females earn $1,956.80 and $1,658.30, respectively.

This disparity could be indicative of different job roles, security, and benefits offered in these sectors.

Demographic variations

Based on ABS data, there's a clear correlation between age and salary, with individuals aged 45-54 earning the highest average salary.

This could be attributed to peak career progression and experience.

However, the significantly lower earnings for those 20 years and under highlight potential issues in youth employment and wage standards.

Males Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings $1,982.80 4.0%
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings $2,078.40 3.7%
All employees average weekly total earnings $1,672.70 3.2%
Females Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings $1,744.80 5.5%
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings $1,768.10 5.3%
All employees average weekly total earnings $1,202.30 5.1%
Persons Full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings $1,888.80 4.5%
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings $1,955.20 4.2%
All employees average weekly total earnings $1,432.60 3.9%

 

Meanwhile, the gender pay gap remains a critical issue, with male workers earning significantly more on average than their female counterparts.

This disparity reflects broader societal and systemic issues, including workplace discrimination, differing career paths, and the impact of unpaid domestic and caregiving responsibilities predominantly undertaken by women.

Geographical variations

Western Australia leads in average earnings, likely influenced by the mining sector.

This contrasts starkly with states like Tasmania, where the average salary is considerably lower.

Such discrepancies underscore the uneven economic development and opportunities across different Australian states.

Persons Male Female
NSW $1,891.40 $1,977.50 $1,760.20
VIC $1,858.10 $1,940.90 $1,589.00
QLD $1,844.70 $1,931.50 $1,533.00
SA $1,735.40 $1,793.80 $1,542.40
WA $2,107.70 $2,301.60 $1,631.30
TAS $1,670.00 $1,704.30 $1,490.70
NT $1,832.80 $1,974.90 $1,592.70
ACT $2,087.60 $2,189.90 $1,862.10

Economic context

This rise, while notable, is closely shadowed by the national inflation rate of approximately 4.1%.

In other words, there has been little "real" wages growth.

In other words, the real purchasing power of the average Australian might not be significantly improving despite nominal wage increases.

About Chris Dang Chris Dang is an accountant by training and has worked in the Financial Planning industry for many years. Chris brings together property, accounting, and financial planning experience to help clients of Metropole Wealth Advisory create a holistic plan for their wealth.
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