New migrant jobs and income data release

Media Release

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released new comprehensive information about the employment outcomes of migrants. New statistics, based on annual personal income tax data, have been added to the Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia datasets for the first time.

Jobs in 2019-20

Migrants held 26.3 per cent of all jobs in Australia in 2019-20 (5.3 million jobs, worked by 3.6 million migrants). This was slightly below their 29.8 per cent share of Australia’s population.

Bjorn Jarvis, ABS Head of Labour Statistics, said "The addition of migrant information (from the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project) into rich labour market datasets allows us to better understand labour market outcomes of migrants working in Australia. For the first time, this includes insights into both temporary and permanent migrants."

Of the total number of jobs held by migrants:

  • over half (56.6 per cent) were held by permanent migrants
  • 29.5 per cent were held by temporary migrants
  • 12.9 per cent were held by New Zealand citizens

“The largest employing industries of migrants were Administrative and support services (14.1 per cent of jobs held by migrants); Health care and social assistance (12.1 per cent); and Accommodation and food services (11.3 per cent),” Mr Jarvis said.

Personal Income in 2019-20

The latest data also offers new insights about permanent and temporary migrants’ personal income.

"Almost 4 million migrant taxpayers earned more than $230 billion in total personal income in 2019-20.” Mr Jarvis said.

The median annual personal income for migrants was $45,351 in 2019-20, compared with $52,338 for the population as a whole.

Migrants living in the Australian Capital Territory had the highest median income ($52,439), while those in Tasmania had the lowest ($31,093). This aligns with the highest and lowest income earners states and territories for all Australians.

However, migrants living in Western Australia had the second highest median income ($51,501), while Western Australia ranks third among all Australian income earners (behind the Northern Territory).

The start of annual insights

This new data will be added to in future releases, to provide a series of annual information.

“This new data will provide annual insights into the employment and income outcomes for migrants, providing more frequent and detailed information than ever before,” Mr Jarvis said.

Media notes

  • Information on both migrant jobs and migrant income was released today in Jobs in Australia and Personal Income in Australia. These data are sourced from the Department of Home Affairs administrative migrant data included in the Multi-Agency Data Integration Project (MADIP); and the Linked Employer-Employee Dataset (LEED) which combines Income Tax Returns and Payment Summaries data from the Australian Taxation Office with ABS business data to give us unique and detailed insights into the labour market.

  • To learn more about our different labour measures, their purpose and how to use them, see our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Industry employment and Earnings (similar to income) data.

  • The proportion of Australia’s population that was born overseas was sourced from Migration, Australia, 2019-20.
  • Statistics in this release are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting Australian Government closure of the international border from 20 March 2020.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

  • The ABS would like to acknowledge the Department of Home Affairs for providing funds to support ABS migrant data initiatives.  

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (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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