Hourly gender pay gap is highest for Managers

Media Release

Hourly earnings were highest for Managers in May 2023, according to detailed earnings information released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Managers had the highest average hourly earnings ($67.20) followed by Professionals ($60.60). Sales workers and Labourers had the lowest of all occupations ($30.90 and $32.20) compared to an overall hourly average of $44.00. 

In addition to important earnings insights across a range of employer and employee characteristics and arrangements, this data provides key insights into the gender pay gap in Australia and how it is changing over time.

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS head of labour statistics, said: “Analysing the difference between male and female earnings is complex and there is no single measure that can provide a complete picture. Hourly earnings comparisons are particularly useful in understanding gender pay differences beyond weekly earnings measures, given women are more likely to work part-time than men.

"On average, hourly earnings were $46.10 for men, compared to $42.00 for women, a difference of 8.9 per cent. This gap has narrowed from 9.7 per cent in May 2021.”

Men continued to earn more per hour than women in all eight major occupation groups. 

"In dollar terms, the difference between average hourly earnings for men and women was greatest for Managers ($14.10 per hour) and Technicians and trades workers ($8.20). It was lowest for Sales workers ($2.30),” Mr Jarvis said. 

“In percentage terms, the difference was greatest for Managers (19 per cent), and lowest for Sales workers (7 per cent) and Professionals (10 per cent)."

In weekly terms, employees earned an average of $1,490 in May 2023, with men earning an average of $1,731 and women $1,261.

“The majority of full-time employees are men (61 per cent) with higher average earnings ($2,074 a week) than full-time women ($1,815 a week),” Mr Jarvis said. 

“The majority of all part-time employees are women (69 per cent) with higher average weekly earnings than part-time men ($817 compared to $759). This reflects the greater use of part-time working arrangements by women in higher paying jobs, compared to men.”

Distributional data showed that the top-earning quarter of employees in Australia earned more than $1,956 a week in May 2023, while the lowest earning quarter received less than $785. 

Median weekly earnings were $1,300, with men earning $1,509 and women $1,130.

The most common method of setting pay in May 2023 was an individual arrangement (39 per cent, up from 38 per cent in 2021), followed by a collective agreement (34 per cent, down from 35 per cent in 2021).

Less than a quarter of employees were paid according to an award (23 per cent). A small proportion of employees were owner managers of incorporated enterprises (4 per cent) who set their own pay. Both of these were similar percentages to 2021.

Men were more likely to have their pay set by an individual arrangement (45 per cent), while a collective agreement was the most common method for women (38 per cent).

Media notes

  • The Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours is usually conducted every two years with a May reference period. 
  • Hourly earnings are for non-managerial employees (that is, employees who do not have strategic management responsibilities).
  • Managers, as coded by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is separate to EEH managerial status. Although there is significant overlap between the two, the ANZSCO Managers major group and EEH managerial employees are not the same.
  • These statistics provide detailed compositional insights into hourly and weekly earnings for men and women, including information by age, occupation, industry, sector, state/territory of work, type of employment and pay-setting method. They are the best source of information for measuring hourly earnings differences between men and women in Australia, and complement a range of other related statistics produced by the ABS (e.g. Average Weekly Earnings and Characteristics of Employment) and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
  • For a broad range of Gender pay gap measures and further information, including how the gap is calculated, see the Gender pay gap guide.
  • Estimates of earnings and employee proportions in this media release have been rounded, where applicable.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.
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