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5673.0.55.003 - Wage and Salary Earner Statistics for Small Areas, Time Series, 2003-04 to 2007-08 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/10/2010   
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Introduction
Trends in Average Wages and Salaries, 2003-04 to 2007-08
Regional Variations in Average Annual Growth Rates



INTRODUCTION

This article and the accompanying data are provided to support analyses of local economic conditions for regions throughout Australia. The data are produced by the ABS using personal income tax (PIT) information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

Wage and salary statistics in this issue are presented for the years 2003-04 to 2007-08 on a range of geographic levels. These data have been compiled on the same basis as the last issue, but include an additional year of data to provide a five year time series.

In 2007-08, around 10.1 million Australians derived income from Wages and salaries. Over $442 billion - over 80% of all income earned by Australian taxpayers - was earned from Wages and salaries in 2007-08. As the economic well-being of most Australians is largely determined by the amount of income they receive, analysing geographical variations in Wages and salaries - and how these change over time - can provide valuable information about relative advantage and disadvantage in regions and the nature of regional economies in general. Wealth is also an important contributor to economic well-being; some people on low incomes may have property and business assets to draw on, whilst others on high incomes may also have high levels of debt.

The data presented in this article can be used to explore questions such as:
    • have average incomes from Wages and salaries increased over time, and if so by how much?
    • which regions experienced higher growth in average Wages and salaries income compared to others?
    • have average incomes from Wages and salaries increased at higher rates in capital city areas compared with regions outside capital cities?
    • which regions with high average incomes from Wages and salaries also experienced high growth rates in Wages and salaries?
    • which regions with low average incomes experienced high growth rates in Wages and salaries?

This article illustrates ways that Wage and salary data can be used to explore regional variations in income. Further analysis of regional incomes can be undertaken using the data contained in the spreadsheets attached to this article.

The statistics have been compiled using aggregated individual income tax data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) wishes to acknowledge the invaluable support of the ATO in compiling these statistics.


TRENDS IN AVERAGE WAGES AND SALARIES, 2003-04 TO 2007-08

On average, Australians earned $43,921 in Wages and salaries in 2007-08; up from $42,081 in the previous year. Table 1 shows that the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest average annual income in each year between 2003-04 and 2007-08, recording $51,387 in 2007-08.

Over the period 2003-04 to 2007-08, the average annual growth rate in average Wage and salary income in Australia was 4.5%.

Western Australia recorded the highest growth in average annual Wages and salaries between 2003-04 and 2007-08 (6.4%), followed by Queensland (5.3%). The high growth rate for Western Australia resulted in that state having the third highest average annual Wage and salary income in 2007-08, moving up from fifth highest in 2003-04.

For all States and Territories, and for Australia as a whole, average annual growth rates for regions outside of capital cities either matched or were slightly higher than those for capital city Statistical Divisions (SDs), although average annual incomes were considerably higher in capital city SDs.


Table 1. AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGES AND SALARIES - By State and Territory, 2003-04 to 2007-08

Region
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
Average Annual Growth Rate
$
$
$
$
$
%

New South Wales
39 648
41 433
43 032
44 850
46 513
4.1
Sydney
42 811
44 799
46 425
48 428
50 136
4.0
Balance of NSW
33 360
34 774
36 307
37 717
39 114
4.1
Victoria
36 882
38 421
39 861
41 260
42 782
3.8
Melbourne
38 762
40 368
41 840
43 302
44 837
3.7
Balance of Vic
31 412
32 720
34 041
35 188
36 478
3.8
Queensland
33 965
35 655
37 680
39 735
41 687
5.3
Brisbane
35 775
37 461
39 597
41 720
43 893
5.2
Balance of Qld
32 243
33 944
35 879
37 867
39 586
5.3
South Australia
33 623
35 061
36 357
37 830
39 492
4.1
Adelaide
34 728
36 229
37 521
38 936
40 546
3.9
Balance of SA
30 357
31 586
32 894
34 534
36 302
4.6
Western Australia
36 048
38 219
40 575
43 226
46 199
6.4
Perth
36 523
38 712
41 095
43 785
46 804
6.4
Balance of WA
34 553
36 679
38 932
41 428
44 266
6.4
Tasmania
31 358
32 467
33 903
35 288
36 874
4.1
Hobart
33 021
34 118
35 660
37 065
38 563
4.0
Balance of Tas
30 091
31 199
32 527
33 898
35 541
4.2
Northern Territory
37 665
40 016
41 589
43 027
45 216
4.7
Darwin
39 437
42 222
43 723
45 014
47 298
4.6
Balance of NT
34 466
35 983
37 618
39 278
41 251
4.6
Australian Capital Territory
42 834
45 922
47 061
49 116
51 387
4.7
Canberra
42 841
45 932
47 071
49 122
51 393
4.7
Australia
36 889
38 607
40 276
42 081
43 921
4.5
All Capital Cities
39 112
40 939
42 620
44 495
46 397
4.4
Balance of Australia
32 452
33 963
35 615
37 259
38 902
4.6



REGIONAL VARIATIONS IN AVERAGE ANNUAL GROWTH RATES

Which Statistical Local Areas experienced the highest growth in average Wage and Salary income between 2003-04 and 2007-08? Map 1 shows considerable variation in average annual growth rates across Australia.


Map 1. GROWTH OF AVERAGE INCOME FROM WAGES AND SALARIES - By Statistical Local Areas, Australia, 2003-04 to 2007-08




The vast majority of SLAs with the highest average annual growth rate of average Wage and salary income between 2003-04 and 2007-08 were located in Western Australia and Queensland. In Western Australia, these included over twenty inland and coastal SLAs surrounding Perth that offered semi-rural or rural lifestyles within 2-3 hours drive of the city (e.g. the SLAs of Wandering, Cuballing and Boddington) and also the remote mining area of Ravensthorpe in the state's south east. In Queensland, many of the areas of highest growth were associated with emerging energy resource sectors (e.g. Dalby-Chinchilla in the state's Western Downs region and Barcoo in the state's south-west). Other SLAs with high growth rates were located in Queensland's Central Highlands and in Mackay (which contains much of the region's engineering, manufacturing and mining services industries).

However, high growth rates do not necessarily equate to high incomes. For example, whilst the SLA of Kojonup (in Western Australia's wheatbelt) experienced an 8% average annual increase in average Wage and salary income between 2003-04 and 2007-08, by the end of the period the average annual income in the area was just $31,434 (well below the national average of $43,921). Some SLAs with high average Wage and salary incomes experienced low average annual growth rates, while other regions recorded both low incomes and low growth rates in average Wages and salaries. Table 2 presents a selection of SLAs that fall into each of these four categories. SLAs were grouped according to whether their average annual incomes in 2007-08 fell in the top or bottom 20% of SLAs and whether their average annual growth rate in average Wages and salaries was above or below the Australian rate of 4.5%.


Table 2. SELECTED STATISTICAL LOCAL AREAS BY AVERAGE ANNUAL INCOME AND GROWTH RATE

High Income (a)Low Income (b)

High Growth (c)Cottesloe (T) (Western Australia)Plantagenet (Western Australia)
Mosman (A) (New South Wales)Denmark (S) (Western Australia)
Roebourne (S) (Western Australia)Kojonup (S) (Western Australia)
Balmoral (Queensland)Bundaberg (R) - Kolan (Queensland)
Roxby Downs (M) (South Australia)Goyder (DC) (South Australia)
Low Growth (d)Bayside (C) - Brighton (Victoria)Tenterfield (A) (New South Wales)
Red Hill (Australian Capital Territory)Guyra (A) (New South Wales)
Stonnington (C) - Malvern (Victoria)Barunga West (DC) (South Australia)
Hornsby (A) - South (New South Wales)North Burnett (R) - Mundubbera (Queensland)
Baulkham Hills (A) - South (New South Wales)Yarriambiack (S) - North (Victoria)

(a) Average Annual Income in 2007-08 in top Quintile (above $47 835)
(b) Average Annual Income in 2007-08 in bottom Quintile (below $33 681)
(c) Average Annual Growth Rate in Wages and salaries between 2003-04 and 2007-08 above national rate (4.5%)
(d) Average Annual Growth Rate in Wages and salaries between 2003-04 and 2007-08 below national rate (4.5%)


High income/high growth regions included the inner suburban SLA of Cottesloe in Perth, which had an average income of $71,793 in 2007-08, and an average annual growth rate in average income of 7.8%.

Bayside (C) - Brighton SLA, in Melbourne's south-east, is an example of a high income/low growth region, with an average annual income of $67,529 in 2007-08, but an average annual growth rate of just 3.6%.

Some regions recorded high growth rates, while remaining low income regions. Denmark SLA (in Western Australia's south-west), is an example of a low income/high growth region, recording an income of $32,110 in 2007-08 following an average annual growth rate of 7.4%.

Other regions recorded both low income and low growth rates in this period. For example, the SLA of Barunga West (on South Australia's Yorke Peninsula) was a low income/low growth region, with an average income of $28,496 in 2007-08 and an average annual growth rate of 2%.

Map 2 shows the geographical distribution of all SLAs in Australia according to the four income/growth categories in Table 2. Regions with high average annual incomes and high average annual growth rates include SLAs in the metropolitan areas of Brisbane, Perth and Sydney and remote mining areas in Western Australia and Queensland. Regions with low average annual incomes and high average annual growth rates include: Far North Queensland; SLAs north-east and south-east of Perth; and SLAs in the mid-north and west coast of South Australia.


Map 2. STATISTICAL LOCAL AREAS BY AVERAGE WAGE AND SALARY INCOME 2007-08 AND GROWTH RATES




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