AVERAGE salaries have taken a hit across Queensland, but the Gold Coast has held steady thanks to increased pay packets for tourism and hospitality workers over the past year.
A survey conducted by jobs website SEEK says the average salary in Queensland fell to $77,614 for the year to June, 2.7 per cent under the national average of $79,767.
The fall has been triggered by an 8 per cent slump in the high-paying mining sector, leading to a 16.4 per cent fall in average salaries in Mt Isa and western Queensland to $89,771.
Average salaries on the Gold Coast remained unchanged at $65,500 while the Somerset-Lockyer region recorded the only gain for the state, up 0.4 per cent to $69,245.
“Average salaries across the hospitality and tourism sector saw an increase of 2 per cent, allowing the Gold Coast to be one of the only major cities in Queensland to not see a dip in average salaries,” says SEEK managing director Joe Powell.
SEEK says the good news for employees is that 54 per cent of industries in Queensland are paying higher salaries for vacant positions than 12 months ago.
The Queensland jobs that saw the highest growth in pays include call centre and customer service (up 5 per cent to $53,914), community service and development (up 5 per cent to $65,101), government and defence (up 4 per cent to $86,334), healthcare and medical (up 4 per cent to $86,271) and marketing and communications (up 4 per cent to $76,593).
The most lucrative industries remain mining and resources, with the average salaries at $124,639, followed by engineering ($109,137) and construction $107,803).
On a regional basis, the highest average salaries in Queensland can be found in Gladstone and Central Queensland, at $91,793 which is down 8.8 per cent over the past year.
The lowest is Sunshine Coast, at $65,106 – down 4.1 per cent from a year ago.
“Following extensive austerity measures to reduce the State’s debt and declining mining opportunities, few will be surprised to see that Queensland salaries have fallen behind the national average,” says Joe Powell (pictured).
“However, state government spending has not evaporated altogether and several government-led areas still offer positive salary increases for vacant roles.”
“Candidates with the right experience and skills can take advantage of advertised roles now posting higher salaries.
SEEK says job opportunities remain in key regional areas, including central Queensland where the Carmichael Coal and Rail Project is poised to create more than 2400 construction jobs and nearly 4000 operational jobs.
“Initial discussions suggest that Rockhampton Airport is being considered as the regional hub for fly-in, fly-out workers for this project,” says Powell.
“There are also indications that the workforce will be sourced from the Central Queensland region, rather than cities such as Cairns or the Gold Coast where local economies are boosted by Queensland’s $22 billion tourism industry.”
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