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Australia – Managers and professionals are highest hourly earners, research finds

23 January 2019

Managers and professionals in Australia had the highest average hourly earnings according to results from the Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The survey is conducted every two years with the latest Bureau data referencing the period May 2018.

While managers and professionals had the highest average hourly earnings at AUD 60.40 (USD 43.10) and AUD 54.00 (USD 38.50) per hour, respectively, the lowest hourly earners, on average, were sales workers at AUD 28.50 (20.34) and labourers at AUD 29.50 (USD 21.05).

The average for all employees was AUD 39.10 (USD 27.90) per hour.

Across industries, average hourly earnings were lowest in the accommodation and food services industry (AUD 25.90) (USD 18.48), and highest in the Mining industry (AUD 60.60) (USD 43.25). 

"Full-time employees, who make up the majority of employees, received an average earnings of AUD 1,699 (USD 1,212) per week, which would be around AUD 88,000 (USD 62.800) in annual terms,” Bruce Hockman, Chief Economist at the ABS, said. “The latest figure for all employees, which also includes people working part-time, was AUD 1,289 (USD 919).”

Weekly earnings were higher for men working full-time than for women working full-time. However, women working part-time earned slightly more, on average, than men working part-time.

Meanwhile, the top quarter of earners in Australia received more than AUD 1,686 (USD 1,203) per week, while the lowest earning quarter received less than AUD 682 (USD 486).
Further data from the Bureau also showed that the most common method of setting pay was a collective agreement (40%), followed by an individual arrangement (37%). Less than a quarter of employees were paid according to an award (23%). 
"Men were more likely to have their pay set by an individual arrangement (44%), whereas the most common method for women was a collective agreement (42%)," Hockman said.

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