WORK­OUT Syd­ney in dear­est list for post­ings

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Careerone -

SYD­NEY is the 21st most ex­pen­sive city for in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies when post­ing staff over­seas, and of Aus­tralia’s cities it is the costli­est, says a Mercer sur­vey of 143 cities.

Us­ing New York as a base of 100, Syd­ney scores 94.9 when con­sid­er­ing cost-of-liv­ing fac­tors such as hous­ing, food, cloth­ing, house­hold good and en­ter­tain­ment.

Mercer says it is ac­knowl­edged as the world’s most com­pre­hen­sive cost of liv­ing sur­vey. Global com­pa­nies and gov­ern­ments use it when es­ti­mat­ing al­lowances for ex­pa­tri­ate em­ploy­ees.

The most ex­pen­sive city in the world is Moscow, with an in­dex read­ing of 134.4, fol­lowed by Lon­don (126.3), Seoul (122.4), Tokyo (122.1) and Hong Kong (119.4) in the top five spots. Euro­pean cities dom­i­nate the list over­all. The least ex­pen­sive, oc­cu­py­ing 143rd place, is Asun­cion, Paraguay (50).

Other Aus­tralian cities in the list are Melbourne (60th place, in­dex score of 82.5), Bris­bane (86th, in­dex score 77.8), and Ade­laide (96th, in­dex score 74.7).

The in­creas­ing value of the Aus­tralian dol­lar may have con­trib­uted to the cost of liv­ing in th­ese cities, says Rob Knox, prin­ci­pal at Mercer.

‘‘ The re­source rich states of West­ern Aus­tralia and Queens­land, in par­tic­u­lar, have ex­pe­ri­enced in­creased de­mand for goods and ser­vices through the in­flux of both peo­ple and cap­i­tal con­tribut­ing to up­ward pres­sure on costs in Bris­bane and Perth,’’ Knox says. ‘‘ Other fac­tors likely to be driv­ing de­mand and in­creas­ing costs pres­sures in­clude a pos­i­tive em­ploy­ment out­look and healthy econ­omy.

‘‘ But it’s im­por­tant to keep this in per­spec­tive. Aus­tralian cities re­main very com­pet­i­tive from a cost point of view, cou­pled with favourable qual­ity of liv­ing met­rics, en­sur­ing Aus­tralia will con­tinue to be well-placed to at­tract in­vest­ment from over­seas.’’

In con­trast to Aus­tralian cities, those in North Amer­ica have ben­e­fited from a fall­ing cur­rency. Only New York and Los An­ge­les (42nd place, in­dex score 87.1) gain a place in the top 50 cities.

‘‘ The de­cline of most US cities in the rank­ings can be at­trib­uted to the de­pre­ci­a­tion of the US dol­lar against the euro and other ma­jor cur­ren­cies world­wide,’’ says Mercer prin­ci­pal Re­becca Pow­ers.

‘‘ The change re­flects a re­ver­sal of the sit­u­a­tion ex­pe­ri­enced this time last year, when the ma­jor­ity of US cities climbed the rank­ings due to the strength of the dol­lar.’’

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