Working out where the pay is
Redlynch residents bring home the most in our city while those in Westcourt and Bungalow labour on at other end of the scale
WORKERS living in Cairns City are earning the secondlowest median income per job in the state, ABS data reveals.
The fresh insight into workers’ pay rates shows that Redlynch people are bringing home our highest annual median income at $31,948.
Employees who call the Northern Beaches home are also doing well, with Kewarra and Clifton Beach residents on a median of $31,512.
At the other end of the scale was Westcourt/Bungalow with $16,000 and Manoora $19,059.
The data reveals the median employee income per job in Cairns City in the 2015/16 financial year is $18,000 which is the second lowest in the state and fifth lowest in Australia.
James Cook University lecturer Dr Nick Osbaldiston said it was important to look at the figures in the proper context.
Dr Osbaldiston, senior lecturer at JCU’s College of Arts, Society and Education of James Cook University said on paper, an area like Palm Cove looks to not have a large median income.
“(However) you would be hard pressed to suggest that Palm Cove is not a wealthy area,” he said.
“I have looked at the stats and it does look like Palm Cove is not a well-off off area in comparison with Kewarra and Trinity Beach but it is obviously not the case.”
The median employee income figure per job, directly re- lates to money earnt in that industry in a financial year short term work in a specified sector will lower this figure.
The median income in Cairns is down on the Queensland average of $26,000 and also less than Townsville where the median income was $28,000.
Mining, oil and gas extraction workers earned the most in the greater Cairns region with an with a median income of $146,064.
The professions to earn the least included education and training, the arts and recreational services.
In a region that relies heavily on tourism, accommodation and food services employ some of the lowest earners.
The most common profession for people in Redlynch was health care and social assistance while in Westcourt/ Bungalow most people worked in the accommodation and food services industry, which accounted for 900 people.
The challenge facing demographers when taking the temperature of the nation through the census is how to make numbers represent accurately what is going on in any one area.
Dr Osbaldiston said the social and community services sector was a large employer but the sector was not a high earning industry.
Workers in accommodation and food services nationally had the second lowest income with $7293.
The lowest per job median employee incomes were in agriculture, forestry and fishing industry with $6906.
The Cairns region recorded the highest number of jobs in agriculture for the whole of Queensland and was second only to Wide Bay.
Those working in the agriculture, fishing and forestry industry are most likely to have a second job, job holders working in electricity, water, gas and waste services are least likely to hold a second job.
Cairns City recorded the highest number of jobs in the accommodation and food services industry, the Far Northern capital ranked seventh in Australia, while the number of jobs in agriculture ranked thirtieth across the country for the 2015/16 financial year.
DOING SUMS: JCU senior lecturer Dr Nick Osbaldiston.