Employee earnings

Latest release

Weekly earnings of employees, including distribution of earnings and hourly earnings, by State, Occupation, Industry and Qualifications

Reference period
August 2023

Key statistics

  • Median employee earnings was $1,300 per week, up $52 (4.2%) since August 2022.
  • Median hourly earnings was $39.50 per hour, up $2.50 since August 2022. 

Weekly earnings

Median weekly earnings in main job
 August 2023August 2022August 2018

2022 to 2023

(% change)

2018 to 2023

(% change p.a.)

Total employed
Employed full-time

p.a. - per annum, average growth per year.

In August 2023, median weekly earnings for employees was $1,300, up $52 from $1,248 in August 2022. Median weekly earnings increased at a faster rate for women than men over the past 5 years, in part because the proportion of women working full-time increased.

Earnings guide

To learn more about the earnings data collected by the ABS, refer to our Guide to labour statistics. It provides summary information on labour market topics including Earnings data.  

Hourly earnings

Median hourly earnings in main job
 August 2023August 2022August 20182022 to 2023 (% change)2018 to 2023 (% change p.a.)

Distribution of earnings

In August 2023,

  • 25% of all employees earned less than $820 per week in their main job (25th percentile).
  • 50% of all employees earned less than $1,300 (50th percentile/median).
  • 75% of all employees earned less than $1,975 (75th percentile).
  • 90% of all employees earned less than $2,820 (90th percentile).

Earnings for all percentiles increased. The largest increase was seen in the 40th percentile, increasing by 5.8% since August 2022. The percentile with the lowest growth was the bottom 10th percentile, increasing 3.0% since August 2022. 

Distribution of weekly earnings in main job
 August 2023August 2022August 20182022 to 2023 (% change)2018 to 2023 (% change p.a.)
10th Percentile$412$400$3423.0%3.8%
25th Percentile$820$799$6872.6%3.6%
50th Percentile$1,300$1,248$1,0754.2%3.9%
75th Percentile$1,975$1,898$1,6044.1%4.2%
90th Percentile$2,820$2,699$2,3484.5%3.7%

In August 2020, there were considerable changes to the distribution of earnings. Around 920,000 employees earned between $700 and $799 per week (which included jobs supported by $750 payments from the JobKeeper wage subsidy), which was higher than the 570,000 earning the same amount in August 2019. In August 2021, this number dropped to 500,000 employees and has continued to fall to 480,000 in August 2023.

Note: In August 2020 there was a larger number of people than usual earning around $750 per week, which was the amount of the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

State and territory

The state or territory with the highest median weekly earnings in August 2023 was the Australian Capital Territory at $1,550 per week, followed by the Northern Territory ($1,427), New South Wales and Western Australia (both $1,339). The lowest were South Australia ($1,200 per week), Tasmania ($1,210) and Victoria ($1,280). 

Of the state capital cities, Sydney had the highest median weekly earnings ($1,400 per week), followed by Brisbane ($1,347), Perth ($1,346) and Melbourne ($1,341). 

Outside the capital cities, the highest median weekly earnings were in regional Western Australia ($1,284 per week), and the lowest was regional South Australia ($1,120).


In August 2023, the occupation groups with highest median weekly earnings were Managers ($1,917 per week) and Professionals ($1,750). The lowest were Sales workers ($750), Labourers and Community and personal service workers (both $900).

Managers and Professionals also had the highest hourly rates ($54.70 and $54.40), while Sales workers and Labourers had the lowest hourly rates ($29.50 and $30.00). The gap between the median hourly rates for occupation groups is smaller than for the total weekly earnings measure, partly due to the difference in hours typically worked for each occupation.

1. Data is coded to ANZSCO ver 1.2. For more information on Occupations and Skill level, refer to ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations

The sub-major occupation groups with the highest median weekly earnings in August 2023 were:

  • Chief Executives, General Managers and Legislators - $2,652.
  • Specialist Managers - $2,301.
  • ICT Professionals - $2,205.

The sub-major groups with the lowest median weekly earnings in August 2023 were:

  • Food Preparation Assistants - $383.
  • Sales Support Workers - $533.
  • Hospitality Workers - $575.

Between 2018 and 2023, the sub-major group with the highest average growth in median weekly earnings was Sales Support Workers (5.9% p.a.). The group with the lowest growth was Farmers and Farm managers (0.8% p.a.).


In August 2023, the industries with the highest median weekly earnings were:

  • Mining ($2,403 per week, down from $2,493 in August 2022).
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services ($1,900, up from $1,876).
  • Financial and insurance services ($1,750, up from $1,686).
  • Professional, scientific and technical services ($1,726, up from $1,675).

The industries with the lowest median weekly earnings were:

  • Accommodation and food services ($650 per week, up from $600 in August 2022).
  • Retail trade ($875, up from $800).
  • Arts and recreation services ($915, down from $1,000).

1. For more information on Industries, refer to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)

Educational qualifications

In August 2023, the highest median weekly earners were employees with a postgraduate degree ($1,893 per week), while the lowest were those without non-school qualifications ($988). The largest growth in median weekly earnings between August 2018 and August 2023, were for employees with a postgraduate degree (4.7% p.a.) and a bachelor degree (3.7% p.a.). The lowest growth was for employees with a graduate certificate or diploma (2.8% p.a.) or without a non-school qualification (3.2% p.a.). 

1. For more information on educational attainment, refer to Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED)

Second jobs

The best source of data for people with more than one job can be found in Multiple job-holders, which provides the best estimate of people working in multiple jobs by balancing the information from multiple data sources.

In August 2023, there were 950,000 people who were multiple job holders - people who worked in more than one job during the same week. This was 6.7% of total employment. 

  • 680,000 worked in a second job where they received employee earnings (includes both employees and owner managers of incorporated enterprises).
  • 610,000 received employee earnings in both their main and second job.

 Of those who received employee earnings in both their main and second jobs:

  • median weekly earnings from their main job was $1,000 per week.
  • median weekly earnings from their second job was $300 per week.

In comparison, median weekly earnings for single job holders was $1,345 per week.

Of the 4.0 million people who earned less than $1000 per week in their main job, 9.4% (370,000) had a second job. For people who earned $1000 or more per week, 5.0% had a second job.

In August 2023, women were more likely to have a second job (7.9%) compared to men (5.7%). People aged 15-24 years were more likely to have a second job (7.9%) than people aged 25 years and over (6.5%).

Historical chart from 1965 to 2023

Other topics

Statistics from the Characteristics of Employment survey are also published in three other topic-based releases.

Data downloads

Employee earnings

Data files

Microdata and TableBuilder

Characteristics of Employment survey microdata for 2014 to 2023 is now available in ABS DataLab as a supplementary file for the Longitudinal Labour Force (LLFS) microdata. For more information, refer to Microdata and TableBuilder: Characteristics of Employment.

The release of the August 2023 Characteristics of Employment microdata into Tablebuilder has been delayed until next year due to continuing upgrades to the TableBuilder system infrastructure.

The previously released and unrevised issue of Characteristics of Employment microdata in Tablebuilder for the periods August 2014 to August 2022 will remain available during this time.

Previous catalogue number

This release uses ABS catalogue number 6337.0*.

Prior to 2020, statistics were published in:


*Note: Catalogue number 6337.0 was previously used for Working Hours Arrangements, Australia (Preliminary), Feb to May 1981.

**Note: Catalogue number 6333.0 was previously used for Working Conditions, Australia (Preliminary), Feb to May 1979. 

Post release changes


  • Table 8 has been reloaded to correct a pivot table display issue, including how percentage shares are displayed.
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