The gender pay gap has increased over the past year, new figures show, fuelled by soaring wages in the mining and construction industries.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the full-time average weekly wage for women stood at $1,252 in May, up from $1,193 in the same month last year.
However, this growth has been outstripped by a greater increase in male earnings, stretching gender pay disparity. Australian men in full-time work earned an average of $1,518 in May, up from $1,447 last year.
Nationally, men are now paid, on average, 26% more than women, up from 24% a decade ago.
Men working in Western Australia now command the largest pay packets in Australia, pocketing an average of $1,936 for a full-time working week.
The growth in WA wages has been driven largely by the mining industry, which paid an average of $2,490 to workers across Australia in May. Within the mining industry, women earn, on average, more than $500 a week less than the overall average.
Construction workers are close behind miners in terms of wage increases over the past decade, according to the ABS, with mining wages now double those in manufacturing, on average.
Wages in the retail industry have recently stagnated by comparison – averaging $1,050 in May, compared with $979 in 2010.
Interestingly, in an election year during which there have been promises from both major parties to slash public sector jobs, public servants earned a weekly average of $1,269 in May, up from $1,002 when Labor took power.
Among the states, WA now has the highest average wage, ahead of the ACT. Tasmania has the lowest average wage, at $1,265.
Nationally, weekly wages averaged $1,485 in May, a rise of 4.8% over the same month last year. Read more…
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