Full-time salary gap between states revealed

It’s a long way from Hobart to Perth. And according to new figures published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), that’s true in more ways than one.

An ABS report released this month shows that the average full-time salary for Hobartians is $65,000 per annum. In Perth it is $77,000.

That’s quite a difference – almost 20 per cent, in fact. But those raw numbers do not tell the full story, of course. Perth’s property and rental prices are much higher than Hobart’s and the cost of living is generally higher, too.

As wide as that gap is, there’s an even wider one. While Hobart sits at the bottom of the state and territory capitals salary table, Perth is not at the top. That honour belongs to Sydney, where the average full-time salary is $80,000. Perth sits second on the table, while Melbourne comes in third, with an average full-time salary of $75,000.

The good news coming out of the latest ABS release is that across the country there has been strong growth in salaries. The latest figures, from May this year, show a rise of 3.9 per cent, or $68 per week.

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, says this represents continuing strong annual growth in average earnings for full-time workers.

“Other than a brief spike in average earnings early in the pandemic, when lower paying jobs were particularly impacted, this is the strongest annual growth since May 2013,” he says.

Getting into a state about your full-time salary

Looking at full-time salary figures by state and territory, rather than their capitals, other large gaps begin to emerge.

For instance, in Western Australia the average full-time salary equates to a weekly pay of $2039.30. That’s a whopping $201.30 higher than the national average.

The West Australian average is so high it leaves all other states below the national average. The ACT is the only other jurisdiction that comes in above the national full-time salary average. WA has had higher than average salaries for some years now, largely on the back of ‘FIFO’ workers in the mining industry.

What about the gender pay gap?

There’s encouraging news on that front, too. The gap between men and women in average weekly ordinary full-time earnings fell for the second straight cycle, to 13.0 per cent. This represents the lowest level on record.

“This lines up with the increase in full-time wages in female-dominated jobs such as teaching and nursing,” Mr Jarvis said.

Adding further historical context, Mr Jarvis says that “the gap is now around 0.9 points lower than just before the pandemic (13.9 per cent in November 2019)”.

It is also 4.4 points below 2013 figures and around 2.0 points below the pre-mining boom low in 2005.

Breaking the numbers down by industry, mining still tops the table with average weekly earnings of $2854.00.

That places it ahead of information media and telecommunications ($2317.90) and professional, scientific and technical services ($2170.90).

The full breakdown of full-time salary figures is available on the ABS website.

Has your wage risen recently? How does your wage compare to the average in your state or territory? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: CBA chief’s $12.3 million salary

Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

Andrew Gigacz
Andrew Gigaczhttps://www.patreon.com/AndrewGigacz
Andrew has developed knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income and government entitlements, as well as issues affecting older Australians moving into or living in retirement. He's an accomplished writer with a passion for health and human stories.
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