Average Weekly Earnings, Australia

Latest release

Estimates of weekly earnings classified by industry, sector, state and territory

Reference period
May 2022
Released
18/08/2022
  • Next Release 23/02/2023
    Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, November 2022
  • Next Release 17/08/2023
    Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2023
  • Next Release 22/02/2024
    Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, November 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

Estimates for average weekly ordinary time earnings for full-time adults (seasonally adjusted):

  • Increased by 1.9% to $1,769.80 annually to May 2022.
  • For males were $2,075.30 (public), and $1,835.60 (private).
  • For females were $1,821.30 (public), and $1,523.60 (private).
Average weekly earnings, key statistics
 May 2022May 2021 to May 2022
$% change
Seasonally AdjustedFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings (a)1,769.801.9
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,835.202.1
All employees average weekly total earnings (a)1,344.703.0
OriginalFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,769.801.9
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,835.302.1
All employees average weekly total earnings1,344.703.0

(a) This component is not seasonally adjusted.

Survey impacts and changes

COVID-19 impacts on average weekly earnings

The COVID-19 period has been unprecedented in the scale and speed of changes in the labour market. As various restrictions to control COVID-19 have been implemented, relaxed and lifted, employment and hours have changed considerably. The resulting changes to the composition of the workforce has had ongoing impacts on average earnings growth over the COVID-19 period. 

For example, as at the May 2020 cycle of the Survey of Average Weekly Earnings, there were widespread social distancing and other restrictions in place. These restrictions led to a large decrease in the number of people employed and hours worked, with lower paid jobs and industries particularly impacted, including jobs in Accommodation and food services, Arts and recreation services, and Other services. The large-scale loss of lower paid jobs in these industries had the effect of increasing the value of average weekly earnings at the total economy level. 

By the May 2022 reference period, most COVID-19 related restrictions had eased and the stability of the workforce composition was similar to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, businesses were still adjusting to ongoing disruptions, such as staff shortages and absenteeism. The subsequent increase this cycle in full-time employment in some lower paid industries, such as Accommodation and food services, moderated the strength seen in wages growth. This resulted in a biannual increase of 1.2 per cent in the full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings. 

Trend estimates

Since May 2020, trend estimates have been suspended for all average weekly earnings series. A review of seasonal factors will be undertaken in respect of the Nov 2022 data. If the series have stabilised, Trend will be reinstated (and AWE will return to concurrent seasonal adjustment) in the Nov 2022 Average Weekly Earnings publication, to be released in February 2023. 

Continuing use of forward factors for seasonal adjustment

In the May 2020 Average Weekly Earnings release, the ABS changed the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates from the ‘concurrent’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method. The forward factors approach is better suited to managing large movements at the end point of series and ensures that large movements do not have a disproportionate influence on the seasonal factors. The forward factor approach is not considered suitable for series with a non-seasonal span, and the concurrent adjustment method continued to be used for these series. 

Given the large movements in the labour market during the COVID-19 period and the continuing use of a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS undertook an extensive annual review of its seasonally adjusted average weekly earnings series, prior to the release of the May 2022 estimates. Static forward factors for the next 12 months were calculated through this annual process and were used for the May 2022 release.

The ABS continues to monitor the economic impacts from COVID-19 with a view to reverting to the concurrent method and reinstating trend data within the coming months if there are no further significant and prolonged disruptions to key series. 

For further information on seasonal adjustment during a period of uncertainty please see: Seasonal adjustment throughout periods of significant disruption and uncertainty | Australian Bureau of Statistics (abs.gov.au).

Survey response remains high in May

Responses for the Average Weekly Earnings May 2022 cycle remained high. The ABS would like to thank Australian businesses for their continued support in responding to our surveys during such a difficult time, given how critically important this information is. 

Understanding compositional changes in earnings

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' Average Weekly Earnings survey is designed to measure the level of average earnings in Australia at a point in time. Movements in average weekly earnings can be affected by changes in both the level of earnings per employee and in the composition of the labour force. Factors which can contribute to compositional change include variation in the proportion of full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees; variation in the occupational distribution within and across industries; variation in the distribution of employment between industries; and variation in the distribution of hours worked and paid for.

It is also important to note that while Average Weekly Earnings data can be used to compare, at the very broad level, average earnings between males and females, such comparisons do not take into account a range of compositional differences. For example, differences in occupation or hours worked can contribute significantly to the differences observed between male and female earnings. Details of occupation and hours worked are not collected in the Average Weekly Earnings survey. For further comparisons between male and female wages, including hourly rates and by occupation, refer to Employee Earnings and Hours, Australia

For more information on compositional changes, see Spotlight: Increases in Average Weekly Earnings – compositional changes during the COVID-19 period

Australia

Average weekly earnings, seasonally adjusted
 May 2022May 2021 to May 2022
$% change
MalesFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings (a) 1,872.902.0
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings 1,961.302.2
All employees average weekly total earnings (a) 1,587.002.0
FemalesFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings (a) 1,609.002.1
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings 1,638.102.5
All employees average weekly total earnings 1,115.704.3
PersonsFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings (a) 1,769.801.9
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings 1,835.202.1
All employees average weekly total earnings (a) 1,344.703.0

(a) This component is not seasonally adjusted.

Average weekly earnings, original
 May 2022May 2021 to May 2022
$% change
MalesFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,872.902.0
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,962.102.2
All employees average weekly total earnings1,587.002.0
FemalesFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,609.002.1
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,637.902.5
All employees average weekly total earnings1,114.904.3
PersonsFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,769.801.9
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,835.302.1
All employees average weekly total earnings1,344.703.0

Private and public sector

Average weekly earnings, by sector, original
 May 2022May 2021 to May 2022
$% change
AustraliaFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,769.801.9
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,835.302.1
All employees average weekly total earnings1,344.703.0
Private SectorFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,725.801.6
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings1,790.401.8
All employees average weekly total earnings1,277.602.8
Public SectorFull-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings1,936.703.0
Full-time adult average weekly total earnings2,006.103.3
All employees average weekly total earnings1,647.003.5

Industry

State and territory

Cash earnings (includes salary sacrifice)

Data downloads

Trend estimates suspension

Trend estimates have been suspended from May 2020 for all Average Weekly Earnings series due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market. A review of seasonal factors will be undertaken in respect of the Nov 2022 data. If the series have stabilised, Trend will be reinstated (and AWE will return to concurrent seasonal adjustment) in the Nov 2022 Average Weekly Earnings publication, to be released in February 2023. 

Australia

Data files

Sector

Data files

Industry

Data files

State and territory

Data files

State by sector

Data files

Cash earnings (includes salary sacrifice)

Data files

All May 2022 spreadsheets

Time series spreadsheets

Seasonality

Some of the seasonally adjusted series above do not display seasonality, so they are not seasonally adjusted. In these cases the seasonally adjusted figure will be the same as the original series. The file below lists the treatment of each of these series.

Seasonality guide

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 6302.0.

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