Jobs & Wages in Australia

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The Job Market

Compared to much of the developed world, Australia's economy has remained reasonably strong over the last few years.

The national unemployment rate is currently 5.1% and the average full-time weekly wage across the whole of Australia is $1346 (almost $70,000 a year)1

The following chart shows employment data by state, in order of highest to lowest earnings. Not surprisingly, the states with the highest earnings also generally have the lowest unemployment and the highest growth rates.

State/
Territory
GDP
Growth
Unemployment
Rate
Avg Weekly
Earnings
Avg Annual
Earnings
ACT
3.0%
3.4%
$1,553.20
$80,766
WA
14.5%
3.8%
$1,514.30
$78,744
NT
16.9%
4.0%
$1,383.50
$71,942
NSW
1.9%
5.0%
$1,338.30
$69,592
QLD
7.5%
5.7%
$1,330.50
$69,186
VIC
2.7%
5.4%
$1,311.90
$68,219
SA
2.3%
5.1%
$1,220.60
$63,471
TAS
-0.8%
6.6%
$1,183.30
$61,532
Aus
4.4%
5.1%
$1,346.00
$69,992

 

A few observations about these numbers:

  • The "resource rich" states of WA and NT are growing strongly and this growth is reflected in low unemployment and high wages.
  • Queensland is also experiencing a mining boom, but the overall impact is not as dramatic - there is a much bigger population in QLD, so the positive effect of the mining boom is diluted.
  • The ACT is top of the list, but this is a small population with artificially high numbers of professional jobs - civil servants and forces personnel.
1 ABS 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Feb 2012. Released 7 June 2012.