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6261.0.55.001 - Characteristics of Wage and Salary Earners in Regions of Australia, 2002-03  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/02/2006   
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INTRODUCTION

This publication presents regional estimates of the characteristics of wage and salary earners for the 2002-03 financial year, and selected data for the 2001-02 financial year, using the Remoteness Structure outlined within the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC), Volume 1, 2001 (cat. no. 1216.0). Data for the years 1995-96 to 2000-01 were published in Characteristics of Wage and Salary Earners in Regions of Australia, 2000-01 (cat. no. 6261.0.55.001).

The data presented illustrate the differences in the characteristics of employees living in urban, regional and remote parts of Australia and should provide regional analysts and service providers with insights about employment activity, occupations and variations in wage and salary incomes across different age and occupation groups. The data also enables comparisons of the differing earning levels of employees in the same occupations across regions which may add to the understanding of regional populations and economies. Overall, these data provide valuable and interesting information about the diversity of employees in different parts of the nation.


The estimates of the number of wage and salary earners and their characteristics, including age, sex, occupation and income, have been compiled from the Australian Taxation Office's (ATO) Individual Income Tax Return Database and are part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) program to increase the range of regional data available to users of regional statistics, particularly through the use of administrative information from other government agencies. The ABS wishes to acknowledge the support the ATO has provided in compiling these statistics. All individual income tax statistics provided by the ATO have been in aggregated form only. No information about individual taxpayers has been released to the ABS.

The Remoteness Structure, used as the geographic framework for this study, has been designed to provide an alternative geographic classification for the dissemination of statistics which enables comparison across five broad regions of Australia that are based on remoteness or distance from services. The five remoteness areas are Major Cities of Australia, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia and Very Remote Australia. A brief description and example of each remoteness area is provided in the
Glossary. For further information relating to the remoteness structure refer to Information Paper: ABS Views on Remoteness, 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0) and Information Paper: Outcomes on ABS Views on Remoteness Consultation, Australia, 2001 (cat. no. 1244.0.00.001).

Data on the characteristics of wage and salary earners across remoteness areas are provided below and should be read in conjunction with the Explanatory Notes. For further information about these or related statistics please contact the National Information Service on 1300 135 070, or Kirsten Hastwell on (08) 8237 7369.

DEFINITION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS

For the purposes of this publication wage and salary earners have been defined as:

persons aged 15 years and over who have submitted an individual income tax return and for whom wage and salary income was the principal (or main) source of income for the financial year.

The data presented within this publication does not take account of whether wage and salary earners worked on a full-time or part-time basis, had overtime earnings or had multiple job holdings. These factors may account for some of the differences when comparing median wage and salary incomes across regions. The data exclude persons in their own unincorporated businesses, such as farmers, who are not wage and salary earners, but do include people in their own incorporated business (that is, a company that has a legal status separate to that of the individuals involved). For further definitional clarification please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

SUMMARY POINTS

In 2002-03:

  • The highest median annual wage and salary income for employees was in the remoteness area of Major Cities. Outside of Major Cities, employees in Remote and Very Remote areas recorded higher median annual wage and salary incomes than employees in Inner Regional and Outer Regional Australia.
  • As the degree of remoteness increased, the proportion of male wage and salary earners in each remoteness area generally increased.
  • Median wage and salary incomes for males were higher than those for females in all remoteness areas.
  • In both the 25-34 year and 35-44 year age groups, the proportion of wage and salary earners outside of Major Cities increased as the degree of remoteness increased.
  • The proportion of male wage and salary earners in the age group 55 years and over were consistently higher than the female proportions in all remoteness areas
  • Across all remoteness areas, median wage and salary income increased with age, peaking in the 45-54 year age group.

Between 2001-02 and 2002-03:
  • Major Cities, Inner Regional, Outer Regional and Remote areas recorded positive growth in the number of wage and salary earners. During this period, however, all remoteness areas recorded positive growth in the level of total wages and salaries paid (as the principal source of income).
  • Median annual wage and salary income increased at the highest rate for males in Outer Regional areas. Females had the highest median annual wage and salary income increase during this period within Remote Australia.

DISTRIBUTION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS

In 2002-03, approximately 90% of Australia's wage and salary earners resided in Major Cities and Inner Regional areas, with 69.7% and 18.9% in these areas respectively. Outer Regional areas accounted for 9.3% of Australia's wage and salary earner population, while Remote and Very Remote areas comprised a combined 2.1% of total wage and salary earners resident in Australia.

In comparison, at 30 June 2003, it was estimated that 66.3% of Australia's total population were located in Major Cities, while Inner Regional areas accounted for 20.9%. Outer Regional areas comprised 10.3% of the total population, with Remote and Very Remote areas combined estimated to account for 2.5%. These proportions show that the distribution of wage and salary earners is similar to the distribution of the total population. They also broadly reflect the concentration of wage and salary earners within Major Cities areas, with the greater availability and versatility of employment opportunities within these regions.

In New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, approximately 75% of wage and salary earners resided in Major Cities, corresponding to total population estimates in these same areas of just over 70%.

Queensland recorded the lowest proportion of wage and salary earners residing within Major Cities at 55.9%, corresponding to a lower total population estimate of 52.7%. The proportion of wage and salary earners residing in Queensland's Inner Regional areas (including Gladstone and Hervey Bay) and Outer Regional areas (including Cairns and Port Douglas) were 23.1% and 17.6% respectively, higher than the national proportions of 18.9% and 9.3%. These figures are consistent with the greater distribution of Queensland's population along the coastal seaboard.

It was estimated that 45.6% of the Northern Territory's total population were located in Remote (including Alice Springs and Katherine) and Very Remote areas (including Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy) as at 30 June 2003. With 33.7% of its wage and salary earner population residing in these areas (19.9% and 13.7% respectively), the Northern Territory displays the largest differential between wage and salary earners and total population within these remoteness areas. In Tasmania, 65.9% of the wage and salary population were resident in Inner Regional areas (including Hobart and Launceston) and 31.8% in Outer Regional areas (including Georgetown and Latrobe), while 63.8% and 33.9% of the total population were residents in Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas respectively.

DISTRIBUTION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS BY REMOTENESS AREA,
States and Territories, 2002-03

Major
cities
%
Inner
regional
%
Outer
regional
%
Remote

%
Very
remote
%
Total(a)

'000

New South Wales
75.6
18.3
5.7
0.4
0.1
2,532.3
Victoria
76.2
19.5
4.3
0.1
0.0
1,931.1
Queensland
55.9
23.1
17.6
2.4
1.1
1,446.0
South Australia
74.2
12.1
10.3
2.7
0.7
569.0
Western Australia
73.3
11.6
8.7
4.4
1.9
740.8
Tasmania
-
65.9
31.8
1.6
0.6
169.7
Northern Territory
-
-
66.3
19.9
13.7
74.6
Australian Capital
Territory
99.8
0.2
-
-
-
150.2
Australia
69.7
18.9
9.3
1.5
0.6
7,613.7


(a) Excludes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.


DISTRIBUTION OF ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION BY REMOTENESS AREA
States and Territories, 30 June 2003

Major
cities
%
Inner
regional
%
Outer
regional
%
Remote

%
Very
remote
%
Total(a)

'000

New South Wales
71.5
20.6
7.2
0.6
0.1
6,682.1
Victoria
73.4
21.3
5.2
0.1
0.0
4,911.4
Queensland
52.7
25.9
17.5
2.5
1.4
3,801.0
South Australia
71.1
12.6
11.7
3.0
0.9
1,526.3
Western Australia
70.5
12.7
9.6
4.7
2.6
1,949.9
Tasmania
-
63.8
33.9
1.8
0.5
477.3
Northern Territory
-
-
54.4
20.8
24.8
198.5
Australian Capital
Territory
99.8
0.2
-
-
-
323.4
Australia
66.3
20.9
10.3
1.6
0.9
19,870.0

(a) Excludes Jervis Bay Territory, Territory of Christmas Island and Territory of Cocos Island.
Source: ABS, Regional Population Growth, Australia and New Zealand 2003-04 (cat. no. 3218.0)


All of Australia's remoteness areas recorded positive growth in the number of wage and salary earners between 2001-02 and 2002-03, except for Very Remote areas (-0.2%) which continues to reflect a downward trend since 1996-97 (Note: The exclusion of Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) income from 1998-99 onwards could also be responsible for the observable decrease in the number of wage and salary earners and conversely the upward movement in the median annual wage and salary income for Remote and Very Remote areas. For further details please refer to the Explanatory Notes).

Inner Regional areas recorded the highest increase of wage and salary earners at 3.6%, followed by Major Cities and Outer Regional areas, both with increases of 2.0%. The growth in Inner Regional areas of wage and salary earners may be influenced by lifestyle choices and the relative affordability of these regions, whilst still offering high levels of accessibility to services and Major Cities areas (Australian Social Trends, 2003 (cat. no. 4102.0)).

Total wage and salary income received by Australia's wage and salary earners was $283.8 billion in 2002-03, increasing from $267.4 billion in 2001-02 and $259.6 billion in 2000-01.

In 2002-03, all remoteness areas recorded positive growth in the level of total wage and salary income. The growth in Inner Regional areas was greatest in percentage terms, recording an increase of 7.4% from 2001-02 and an average annual rate of increase of 5.4% over the 6 year period from 1996-97 to 2002-03. Remote areas recorded an increase in 2002-03 over the previous year of 4.8% and an average annual rate of increase of 2.1% between 1996-97 and 2002-03.

Major Cities contributed $206.3 billion, or 72.7% of total wages and salaries paid in 2002-03, decreasing from 72.9% in 2001-02. Inner Regional areas have consistently increased its contribution to total wages and salaries paid, at 16.8% in 2002-03, 16.5% in 2001-02 and 16.2% in 2000-01. Very Remote areas contributed $1.7 billion or 0.6% of Australia's total wages and salaries paid in 2002-03. The wages and salaries paid to employees in Major Cities and Inner Regional areas continue to increase at a higher rate than for employees in other regions, increasing the income disparity between these and other remoteness areas.

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS, by Remoteness Area, 1996-97 to 2002-03

% Change
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-00
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2001-02 to
2002-03
1996-97 to
2002-03(a)

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS (no.)

Major cities
4,984,589
5,083,685
5,148,414
5,194,329
5,227,031
5,201,940
5,307,867
2.0
1.1
Inner regional
1,292,080
1,317,926
1,336,494
1,347,744
1,361,808
1,388,536
1,438,424
3.6
1.8
Outer regional
686,672
695,281
695,557
693,029
688,313
692,968
707,005
2.0
0.5
Remote
121,525
122,077
118,161
114,354
112,428
111,745
112,295
0.5
-1.3
Very remote
62,057
61,848
53,204
51,595
50,232
48,186
48,080
-0.2
-4.2
Australia(b)
7,188,213
7,313,428
7,380,064
7,434,438
7,471,989
7,472,423
7,640,538
2.2
1.0

WAGE AND SALARY INCOME ($m)

Major cities
153,901
163,793
172,735
181,312
190,313
194,803
206,315
5.9
5.0
Inner regional
34,718
36,745
38,552
40,089
41,975
44,250
47,540
7.4
5.4
Outer regional
18,180
19,067
19,710
20,064
20,747
21,720
23,054
6.1
4.0
Remote
3,634
3,763
3,770
3,689
3,797
3,935
4,125
4.8
2.1
Very remote
1,701
1,753
1,672
1,661
1,688
1,657
1,737
4.8
0.3
Australia(b)
213,378
226,043
237,367
247,874
259,612
267,379
283,798
6.1
4.9

(a) Average annual rate of increase.
(b) Total includes data that could not be allocated to remoteness area.
Note: Indigenous persons engaged in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) may be included in the above data for the years 1996-97 to 1997-98 and excluded for 1998-99 onwards. Consequently, changes between 1997-98 and 1998-99 and 1996-97 and 2002-03 in particular need to be treated with caution. For further details please refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

TOTAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME,
by Remoteness Area, 1996-97 to 2002-03

Graph: Total wage and salary income by Remoteness Area
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

The median annual wage and salary income for wage and salary earners in Australia, for the financial year 2002-03, was estimated at $32,698, an increase of 3.9% over the previous year ($31,483) and an average annual rate of increase for the period 1996-97 to 2002-03 of 3.3%. Very Remote areas had the highest average annual rate of increase of median annual wage and salary income over the period 1996-97 to 2002-03 at 5.3%, followed by Remote areas at 3.5%.

In 2002-03, employees in Remote and Very Remote areas recorded higher medians than employees in Inner Regional and Outer Regional Australia, moreover, Remote areas had the greatest percentage increase in median wage and salary income between 2001-02 and 2002-03 at 4.5%. Outer Regional and Very Remote areas followed at 4.2% and 4.0 respectively. The higher medians in these areas are likely to be influenced by the concentration of mining within these sectors, and the higher wage and salary packages offered to attract and retain skilled and semi-skilled employees within these regions (AMP-NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Issue 1, February 2002). Inner Regional areas recorded the smallest percentage increase between 2001-02 and 2002-03 at 3.5%.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME, by Remoteness Area, 1996-97 to 2002-03

% Change
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-00
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2001-02 to
2002-03
1996-97 to
2002-03(a)
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
%
%

Major cities
27,895
28,827
29,778
30,741
31,775
32,793
33,982
3.6
3.3
Inner regional
24,988
25,714
26,495
27,161
27,951
28,886
29,903
3.5
3.0
Outer regional
24,504
25,194
26,100
26,495
27,451
28,492
29,689
4.2
3.3
Remote
25,965
26,656
27,823
28,043
29,296
30,462
31,838
4.5
3.5
Very remote
22,950
23,754
27,495
27,983
29,137
30,046
31,243
4.0
5.3
Australia (b)
26,919
27,775
28,705
29,509
30,470
31,483
32,698
3.9
3.3

(a) Average annual rate of increase.
(b) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Note: The median is the mid value which divides a population distribution into two, with half of the observations falling below it and half above it. Median wage and salary income has been calculated from data provided in ranges and therefore distribution within a range has been assumed to be even. Care should be taken when using the data and the median treated as an estimate only).
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME(a),
by Remoteness Area, 1996-97 to 2002-03
Graph: Median Annual Wage and Salary Income, by remoteness area
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

(a) Indigenous persons engaged in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) may be included in the data for the years 1996-97 to 1997-98 and excluded for 1998-99 onwards. Consequently, changes between 1997-98 and 1998-99 and 1996-97 and 2002-03 in particular need to be treated with caution. For further details please refer to the Explanatory Notes.

DISTRIBUTION BY SEX

In 2002-03 there were 4.1 million male (53.0%) and 3.6 million female (47.0%) wage and salary earners in Australia. As the degree of remoteness increased, the proportion of male wage and salary earners generally increased in each remoteness area. The proportion of male wage and salary earners in Major Cities was 52.6% compared with 56.0% in Remote areas. Conversely, the proportion of female wage and salary earners in Major Cities was 47.4% compared with 44.0% and 45.5% in Remote and Very Remote areas respectively.

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS, by Sex and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Percentage within remoteness area
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
no.
no.
no.
%
%

Major cities
2,792,924
2,514,923
5,307,847
52.6
47.4
Inner regional
768,169
670,233
1,438,402
53.4
47.0
Outer regional
387,563
319,415
706,978
54.8
45.2
Remote
62,894
49,408
112,302
56.0
44.0
Very remote
26,201
21,900
48,101
54.5
45.5
Australia(a)
4,052,635
3,587,905
7,640,540
53.0
47.0

(a) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Note: Due to the randomisation process applied to small cells for confidentiality purposes, totals for each characteristic and geographic area may differ from table to table. For further information please refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS,
by Sex and Remoteness Area, 2002-03
Graph: Percentage distribution of wage and salary earners, be sex and remoteness area
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

In 2002-03 median wage and salary income for both males and females was highest in Major Cities at $40,213 and $27,945 respectively. The second highest median for males was in Remote areas at $39,866, higher than the Australia wide median figure for males of $38,909. Very Remote areas recorded the second highest median annual wage and salary income for females at $25,164.

In 2002-03 the median wage and salary incomes for males were consistently higher than those for females in all remoteness areas. The difference between male and female median incomes was over $10,000 in each region, with the highest difference in Remote and Very Remote areas ($15,833 and $13,035 respectively). The smallest difference between male and female median wage and salary income was in Outer Regional areas at $11,888. These differences may be attributable to females being more likely to occupy lower paid positions and to be working on a part-time basis. In 2003 approximately 46% of employed women worked part-time, compared to around 15% of males (Australian Social Trends, 2003 and 2004, (cat. no. 4102.0)).

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME, by Sex and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Males
Females
Persons
$
$
$

Major cities
40,213
27,945
33,982
Inner regional
36,447
23,929
29,903
Outer regional
35,660
23,772
29,689
Remote
39,866
24,033
31,838
Very remote
38,199
25,164
31,243
Australia(a)
38,909
26,633
32,698

(a) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness areas.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME,
by Sex and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Graph: median annual wage and salary income, by sex and remoteness area
Source: ATO Income Tax Data


Between 2001-02 and 2002-03 median wage and salary incomes for males increased at the highest rate in Outer Regional areas at 4.5%, while for females the highest increase was in Remote areas at 4.4%.

The median wage and salary incomes for both male and female wage and salary earners increased between the years 1996-97 to 2002-03 at an average annual rate of growth of 3.3%. The highest male wage and salary income increase in this period was in Very Remote areas, which saw an average annual increase of 4.9%. The highest increase of female wage and salary income over this time period was in Very Remote areas at 6.2%, followed by Remote areas at 4.2%.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME, by Sex and Remoteness Area, 1996-97 to 2002-03

% Change
1996-97

$
1997-98

$
1998-99

$
1999-00

$
2000-01

$
2001-02

$
2002-03

$
2001-02 to
2002-03
%
1996-97 to
2002-03(a)
%

MALES

Major cities
33,356
34,487
35,661
36,681
37,709
38,763
40,213
3.7
3.2
Inner regional
29,798
30,776
31,908
32,893
33,865
35,098
36,447
3.8
3.4
Outer regional
28,904
29,787
30,946
31,425
32,728
34,102
35,660
4.5
3.6
Remote
32,567
33,632
35,125
35,423
36,920
38,420
39,866
3.8
3.4
Very remote
28,666
29,364
34,113
34,439
35,879
36,662
38,199
4.2
4.9
Australia(b)
32,111
33,250
34,464
35,369
36,403
37,498
38,909
3.8
3.3

FEMALES

Major cities
23,083
23,866
24,609
25,422
26,306
27,072
27,945
3.2
3.2
Inner regional
19,528
20,250
21,023
21,721
22,498
23,232
23,929
3.0
3.4
Outer regional
19,039
19,689
20,590
21,205
22,107
22,919
23,772
3.7
3.8
Remote
18,823
19,507
20,663
21,069
22,246
23,010
24,033
4.4
4.2
Very remote
17,534
18,400
21,396
22,192
23,229
24,139
25,164
4.2
6.2
Australia(b)
21,955
22,725
23,507
24,238
25,091
25,822
26,633
3.1
3.3

(a) Average annual rate of increase
(b) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

DISTRIBUTION BY AGE

The proportion of wage and salary earners in each age group varies within each of the remoteness areas. The 25-34 year age group accounted for the largest proportion of wage and salary earners in Major cities and Very Remote areas (26.4% and 26.2% respectively), while in Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas the 35-44 year age group accounted for the largest proportion, both at 24.8%. In Remote Areas the 25-34 and 35-44 year age groups accounted for an equally high proportion of wage and salary earners at just over 25%.

In the 25-34 and 35-44 year age groups the proportion of wage and salary earners outside of Major Cities increased as the degree of remoteness increased. For example, in Inner Regional areas, 21.5% of wage and salary earners were aged 25-34 rising to 26.2% in Very Remote areas. In contrast, outside of Major Cities, the proportion of wage and salary earners in the 15-24, 45-54 and 55 and over age groups generally decreased in proportion as the degree of remoteness increased.

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS, by Age Group and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

15-24
years
25-34
years
35-44
years
45-54
years
55 years
and over
Total

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS (no.)

Major cities
1,000,277
1,399,456
1,257,363
1,084,365
566,387
5,307,847
Inner regional
280,665
309,269
356,351
331,019
161,097
1,438,402
Outer regional
138,289
162,840
175,320
154,227
76,302
706,978
Remote
21,294
28,651
28,611
22,721
11,025
112,302
Very remote
8,309
12,602
12,474
9,900
4,817
48,102
Australia(a)
1,453,625
1,920,376
1,836,361
1,607,639
822,489
7,640,490

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS (Percentage within Remoteness area)

Major cities
18.8
26.4
23.7
20.4
10.7
100.0
Inner regional
19.5
21.5
24.8
23.0
11.2
100.0
Outer regional
19.6
23.0
24.8
21.8
10.8
100.0
Remote
19.0
25.5
25.5
20.2
9.8
100.0
Very remote
17.3
26.2
25.9
20.6
10.0
100.0
Australia(a)
19.0
25.1
24.0
21.0
10.8
100.00

(a) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS,
by Age Group and Remoteness Area, 2002-03
Graph: Percentage distribution of wage and salary earners, by age group and remoteness area
Age group (years)
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

Australia wide, median annual wage and salary increased with age, peaking in the 45-54 year age group at $38,616. This figure is likely to be influenced by the propensity of wage and salaries earners within this age bracket benefiting financially from promotions, increased qualifications and employment tenure. Median annual wage and salary income was lowest in the 15-24 year age group at $16,501, influenced by people in this age group beginning their careers, being in less skilled occupations and having lower levels of work experience and educational attainment. The past decade has also seen a rise in part-time employment among this age group, consistent with higher rates of participation in non-compulsory education (Australian Social Trends, 2004, (cat. no. 4102.0)).

Median annual wage and salary income was highest in Major Cities for all age groups except for those aged 15-24 years, where Very Remote areas recorded the highest median wage and salary for this age group at $18,586. In general, as the degree of remoteness increased, median wage and salary incomes for those aged 15-24 years increased, from $16,577 in Major Cities to $18,586 in Very Remote areas. Due to the lower availability of educational facilities and accessibility to these services in Remote and Very Remote areas, wage and salary earners in the age group 15-24 are more likely to be working full time than combining part-time employment with non-compulsory schooling.

In 2002-03, Outer Regional areas had the lowest median annual wage and salary income for all age groups except the 15-24 year age group. Across all age groups the medians were greater in Remote and Very Remote areas than in the Inner Regional and Outer Regional areas. This is likely to reflect the industry mix in each of these broad regions.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME, by Age Group and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

15-24
years
25-34
years
35-44
years
45-54
years
55 years
and over
Total
$
$
$
$
$
$

Major cities
16,577
36,733
39,805
40,083
35,908
33,982
Inner regional
15,813
32,560
34,444
35,978
31,211
29,903
Outer regional
17,097
32,513
33,714
34,799
30,306
29,687
Remote
18,540
35,090
36,443
36,953
32,793
31,819
Very remote
18,586
33,203
35,586
36,564
33,050
31,183
Australia(a)
16,501
35,605
37,991
38,616
34,410
32,697

(a) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.


MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME,
by Age Group and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Graph: Median annual wage and salary income, by age group and remoteness area
Age group (years)
Source: ATO Income Tax Data

DISTRIBUTION BY AGE BY SEX

In 2002-03, the proportion of male wage and salary earner populations in the age group 55 years and over were consistently higher in all remoteness area than the female populations within the same age group. The highest proportion of both male and female wage and salary earners in this age group were residing in Inner Regional areas at 12.5% and 9.7% respectively. The lowest proportion of males within this age group was in Remote areas at 10.9% and for females Very Remote areas at 8.3%.

Males aged 55 years and over continue to have a higher participation rate in the labour force than females 55 years and over, consistent with the eligibility of females to receive the age pension before the age of 65 years. The proportion of people in the labour force aged 45-64 years continues to grow, reflecting a range of legislative and policy initiatives designed to decrease incentives for early retirement (Australian Social Trends, 2004 (cat. no. 4102.0)).

Both males and females in the age category 15-24 had the lowest proportion of wage and salary earners located in Very Remote areas, while in the 35-44 year age category, the lowest proportion of wage and salary earners for both males and females was in Major Cities (24.1% and 23.2% respectively). Overall, outside of Major Cities areas, as the degree of remoteness increased the proportion of male and female wage and salary earners aged 25-34 and 35-44 years of age increased.

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS, by Age Group, Sex and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

MALES (Percentage within Remoteness Area)

15-24
years
25-34
years
35-44
years
45-54
years
55 years
and over
Total
Major cities
18.0
26.2
24.1
19.8
11.8
100.0
Inner regional
19.3
21.9
24.3
22.0
12.5
100.0
Outer regional
19.6
23.4
24.3
20.8
11.9
100.0
Remote
18.7
25.5
25.2
19.6
10.9
100.0
Very remote
16.9
25.6
25.7
20.4
11.5
100.0
Australia(a)
18.4
25.1
24.2
20.3
11.9
100.0

FEMALES (Percentage within Remoteness Area)

15-24
years
25-34
years
35-44
years
45-54
years
55 years
and over
Total
Major cities
19.7
26.5
23.2
21.2
9.4
100.0
Inner regional
19.8
21.1
25.3
24.2
9.7
100.0
Outer regional
19.5
22.6
25.4
23.0
9.4
100.0
Remote
19.3
25.5
25.8
21.0
8.4
100.0
Very remote
17.8
26.9
26.3
20.8
8.3
100.0
Australia(a)
19.7
25.2
23.8
21.9
9.4
100.0

(a) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.


DISTRIBUTION BY OCCUPATION

The proportion of wage and salary earners in each occupation group varies within each of the remoteness areas. Occupation groups such as Managers and administrators; Professionals; and Advanced clerical and service workers tended to decrease in proportion as remoteness increased whereas occupation groups such as Tradespersons and related workers; Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers; and Elementary clerical, sales and service workers generally increased in proportion as remoteness increased.

Occupation data compiled from the ATO database includes a high proportion of wage and salary earners for whom the occupation was not stated or not coded. Care should therefore be taken when analysing the occupation distribution. Over the period for which this series has been compiled, the proportion of persons in the "not stated" category has decreased each year from around 27% in 1995-96 to 10.7% in 2002-03. It should also be noted that the proportion in the "not stated" category decreases with remoteness and may account for some of the apparent differences in occupations in the different remoteness areas. In Major Cities 11.2% of wage and salary earners did not state their occupation in 2002-03, decreasing to 6.9% in Very Remote areas. Further information is contained in the Glossary under Occupation.

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS, by Occupation(a) and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Manag-
ers and
admini-
strators
Profess-
ionals
Associ-
ate prof-
ession-
als
Trades-
persons and
related
workers
Advanc-
ed clerical
and service
workers
Interme-
diate clerical, sales and service
workers
Interme-
diate product-
ion and transport
workers
Element-
ary clerical, sales
and service
workers
Labour-
ers and
related
workers
Not stated
Total

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS (no.) (b)

Major cities
532,759
1,056,907
368,297
506,681
178,512
954,740
321,271
495,690
436,544
614,907
5,466,307
Inner regional
113,022
234,530
93,144
176,013
35,150
244,216
107,639
149,798
178,249
139,129
1,470,890
Outer regional
51,677
103,374
43,849
86,624
14,211
115,302
60,268
70,347
111,427
65,351
722,431
Remote
8,177
15,816
7,415
14,984
2,059
16,993
12,887
9,953
18,193
8,583
115,060
Very remote
3,585
7,704
3,734
5,873
771
7,883
4,669
3,798
7,920
3,429
49,365
Australia(c)
712,348
1,424,273
518,480
792,444
231,541
1,343,636
508,204
731,491
754,698
837,416
7,854,531

WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS (Percentage within Remoteness Area)

Major cities
9.7
19.3
6.7
9.3
3.3
17.5
5.9
9.1
8.0
11.2
100.0
Inner regional
7.7
15.9
6.3
12.0
2.4
16.6
7.3
10.2
12.1
9.5
100.0
Outer regional
7.2
14.3
6.1
12.0
2.0
16.0
8.3
9.7
15.4
9.0
100.0
Remote
7.1
13.7
6.4
13.0
1.8
14.8
11.2
8.6
15.8
7.5
100.0
Very remote
7.3
15.6
7.6
11.9
1.6
16.0
9.5
7.7
16.0
6.9
100.0
Australia(c)
9.1
18.1
6.6
10.1
17.1
6.5
9.3
9.6
9.6
10.7
100.0

(a) Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, 2nd Edition.
(b) Occupation based data was extracted from ATO datasets after the extraction of the data on other characteristics of wage and salary earners had occurred. This has resulted in more records been processed at the time of the second extract as can be seen in the higher totals in the occupation data.
(c) Australia total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Note: Due to the randomisation process applied to small cells for confidentiality purposes, totals for each characteristic and geographic area may differ from table to table. For further information please refer to the Explanatory Notes.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF WAGE AND SALARY EARNERS,
by Occupation(a) and Remoteness Area, 2002-03


Graph: Percentage distribution of wage and salary earners by occupation and remoteness area 2002-03
(a) Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, 2nd Edition.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

In 2002-03, Managers and administrators had the highest median annual wage and salary income ($47,611), followed by Professionals ($45,640) and Associate professionals ($39,594). The median annual wage and salary income for Managers and administrators substantially decreased outside of Major Cities.

Reflecting the skills required in the major industry sectors of primary production and mining, Intermediate production and transport workers had the highest median income from wages and salaries in Remote and Very Remote areas at $49,983 and $50,117 respectively.

Elementary clerical, sales and service workers had the lowest median annual wage and salary income in every remoteness area. In Major Cities, Elementary clerical, sales and service workers had a median annual wage and salary income of $17,215 while in Very Remote areas it was $19,795.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME, by Occupation(a) and Remoteness Area, 2002-03

Manag-
ers and
admini-
strators
Profess-
ionals
Associ-
ate prof-
ession-
als
Trades-
persons
and related
workers
Advanc-
ed clerical
and service
workers
Interme-
diate clerical, sales and service
workers
Interme-
diate product-
ion and transport
workers
Element-
ary clerical, sales and service
workers
Labour-
ers and
related
workers
Not stated
Total
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$
$

Major cities
50,233
46,825
40,282
35,895
33,080
27,846
36,197
17,215
24,572
31,002
34,028
Inner regional
41,163
42,420
37,676
33,384
27,895
24,799
37,561
16,514
23,700
26,472
29,913
Outer regional
39,136
42,026
37,735
33,560
27,364
24,704
38,819
17,305
23,041
28,509
29,684
Remote
39,659
43,824
41,130
38,336
27,015
24,177
49,983
18,392
23,241
28,300
31,751
Very remote
39,160
43,599
40,565
38,257
28,792
24,253
50,117
19,795
22,302
25,947
31,137
Australia(b)
47,611
45,640
39,594
35,091
31,835
26,842
37,071
17,102
24,072
29,819
32,728

(a) Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, 2nd Edition.
(b) Total includes data that could not be allocated to a remoteness area.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.

MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGE AND SALARY INCOME,
by Occupation(a) and Remoteness Area, 2002-03


Graph: Median Annual Wage and Salary Income, by occupation and remoteness area
(a) Australian Standard Classification of Occupations, 2nd Edition.
Source: ATO Income Tax Data.


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