Average wage down, but big money still in mining: SEEK salary review 2013

Over 50% of the industries that advertise jobs on SEEK in 2013 offered job seekers a higher wage than in 2012, the employment site reports.

In New South Wales, 63% of employers offered job seekers higher salaries than in 2012 and in Victoria 60% offered higher salaries. In Western Australia, 58% offered higher salaries, in Queensland it was 53% and in South Australia 52%.

The report found 40.7% of all industries listed on SEEK offered salary increases above the wage price index of 2.6%.

However, it found the average salary offered on the site was $81,055, slightly down from the 2012 average of $84,458.

SEEK human resources manager Rebecca Supierz said this national decrease in salary reflects a drop in salaries for candidates in high paying sectors, such as mining and construction which have softened in demand.

“Construction and engineering job seekers would have been disappointed to find salary decreases of up to 21% for some roles,” she said.

“However, these roles are coming off a high salary base and when we look nationally, the best paying jobs were still found in the mining resources and engineering sectors.”

The top role for salary growth in 2013 was for local government, up 20% from an average of $57,672 to $69,381.

The highest paying roles on average were for oil and gas geoscientists at $158,671, mining managers at $145,401, mining geoscientists at $139,616, oil and gas drillers at $138,951 and mining engineers at $137,800.

The five lowest paying roles were packers at $42,423, beauty therapists at $42,605, receptionists at $42,611, retail assistants at $44,519 and bakers at $45,162.

The report found wages in the insurance and superannuation sector, and sports and recreation sector were the highest for salary growth last year, up 6% nationally. 

In sectors where there were fewer candidates, including healthcare and medicine, the salaries for experienced candidates were up 5%.

In retail, consumer products, community services and development, wages went up by 4%.

Only 9% of industries across Australia experienced no change in salaries, this included IT, financial services and property industries.    

The report also found that wages for young people aged 18 to 24 years old were not meeting candidate expectations. Forty-six per cent of employers think that young people want too much money due to their high standard of living expectations.

“With employers and younger employees divided on the salary debate it is clear the financial and generational chasm in the workplace is widening,” Supierz said.

SEEK spokesperson Sarah Macartney told SmartCompany that this could reflect that many young people who begin full-time work were leaving home for the first time, and realising that their wage did not stretch as far as they anticipated to cover rent and bills.


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