02
Mar
2014
article

Cash injection for 63% of new hires in 2013, but salary expectations off-kilter

SEEK’s Annual Salary Review revealed that 63% of industries across Australia offered job-seekers higher salaries in 2013, but increasing salary expectations and high living standards are causing concern for employers.

The SEEK Salary Review compares the salary information of all jobs posted on SEEK from 2012 and 2013.

New South Wales offered the best chance in 2013 for job-seekers to secure a pay increase, with 63% of industries offering higher salaries, followed by Victoria (60%), Western Australia (58%), Queensland (53%) and South Australia (52%).

The average salary advertised on SEEK in 2013 was $81,055; a slight decrease from the average of $84,458 in 2012.

“The national decrease in the average salary reflects a drop in salaries for candidates in high-paying sectors, such as mining and construction, due to a softening of the sector,” says SEEK HR Manager, Rebecca Supierz.

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

The insurance and superannuation sector, as well as roles in sports and recreation, topped the charts for salary growth, both increasing by 6% nationally.

Sectors with candidate shortages, such as healthcare and medical sectors, experienced salary increases of 5%. Spikes of 4% were seen across retail and consumer products, and community services and development sectors.

“With ANZ’s business research showing record business confidence at the close of 2013, it will be interesting to see if this optimism translates to further salary increases in 2014,” says Supierz.

On the subject of wages, additional research conducted by SEEK has shown that employers and young workers aged 18–24 are at odds regarding wages.

According to the research, which surveyed more than 1000 working Australians, 46% of employers believe younger workers have unrealistically high expectations regarding their standard of living, which is putting pressure on employers to meet their demands. Furthermore, 73% of employers believe high salary expectations are having a negative impact on the economy.

Not surprisingly, 43% of younger employees believe that Australia’s higher standard of living demands ‘fair’ wages to be paid by employers.

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

The SEEK Salary Review has shown that 40.7% of all industries listed were offering salary increases above the wage price index of 2.6%.

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

Top 5 industries for year-on-year salary growth nationwide

  • Insurance and Superannuation – 2013 average salary, $79,384. Up 6%, from an average of $74,927 in 2012.
  • Sport and recreation – 2013 average salary, $61,429. Up 6%, from an average of $58,003 in 2012.
  • Healthcare and medical – 2013 average salary, $85,668. Up 5%, from an average of $81,954 in 2012.
  • Retail and consumer products – 2013 average salary, $57,296. Up 4%, from an average of $54,837 in 2012.
  • Community services and development – 2013 average salary, $65,234. Up 4%, from an average of $62,464 in 2012.

Top 5 roles for year-on-year salary growth nationwide

  • Local Government members – 2013 average salary, $69,381. Up 20%, from an average of $57,672 in 2012.
  • Biotechnologists – 2013 average salary, $84,033. Up 18%, from an average of $71,063 in 2012.
  • Volunteer coordinators – 2013 average salary, $61,813. Up 16%, from an average of $53,308 in 2012.
  • Federal Government workers – 2013 average salary, $112,386. Up 14%, from an average of $98,890 in 2012.
  • Oil and gas geoscientists – 2013 average salary, $158,671. Up 13%, from an average of $140,499 in 2012.

Top 5 highest-paying roles in Australia on average

  • Oil and gas geoscientists – 2013 average salary, $158,671.
  • Mining managers – 2013 average salary, $145,401.
  • Mining geoscientists – 2013 average salary, $139,616.
  • Oil and gas drillers – 2013 average salary, $138,951.
  • Mining engineers – 2013 average salary, $137,800.

Job roles that had the greatest decline in salary year-on-year

  • Construction planners – 2013 average salary, $95,053. Down 21%, from an average of $120,467 in 2012.
  • Materials handlers – 2013 average salary, $105,503. Down 16%, from an average of $125,130 in 2012.
  • Environmental services assistants – 2013 average salary, $61,718. Down 13%, from an average of $70,538 in 2012.
  • Engineering draftspeople – 2013 average salary, $78,201. Down 11%, from an average of $85,355 in 2012.
  • Construction estimators – 2013 average salary, $98,288. Down 11%, from an average of $110,410 in 2012.

Lowest-paying job roles in Australia on average year-on-year

  • Packers – 2013 average salary, $42,423.
  • Beauty therapists – 2013 average salary, $42,605.
  • Receptionists – 2013 average salary, $42,611.
  • Retail assistants – 2013 average salary, $44,519.
  • Bakers – 2013 average salary, $45,162.
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