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

The Weekend Post - - News - PETER CARRUTHERS [email protected] ed­i­to­[email protected]­spost.com.au face­book.com/TheCairn­sPost www.cairn­spost.com.au twit­ter.com/TheCairn­sPost

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.

Pic­ture: ERIKA FISH

DO­ING SUMS: JCU se­nior lec­turer Dr Nick Os­bald­is­ton.

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