Quarterly Labour Account provides an insight into which industries enjoyed the better 2019

Today’s release of the Dec 2019 Labour Account data series provides a wealth of information. One thing it allows us to do is take a  look at incomes across various industry sectors and how they have changed in the past 12 months. The data provides us, for each industry type, the year-on-year changes in the average hourly income per employed person, the average number of hours actually worked per employed person, and the resultant average income per employed person.

There are marked differences between sectors with some seeing hourly rate increases driving healthy income rises (e.g. Retail, Transport, Healthcare and Public Admin); those where modest hourly rate rises were coupled with increases in hours worked to give a reasonable income increase (Education) and those where modest, or even falling, rate increases coupled with static or declining hours results in very weak income growth (Rental and Electricity).Across all industries average hourly income rose by 2.34% but the average number of hours fell 0.26% resulting in an increase in average income of just 2.08% (somewhat faster than CPI). This is the fastest pace of growth since the first quarter 2015.

Those sectors that contributed the most to the rise were;

  • Retail (added 0.51 ppts): hourly rates +4.38%, hours worked +1.13% = incomes +5.56%
  • Healthcare (added 0.39 ppts): hourly rates +3.95%, hours worked -0.94% = incomes +2.97%
  • Transport (added 0.37 ppts): hourly rates +7.79%, hours worked +0.22% = incomes +8.03%

At the other end of the spectrum;

  • Construction (deducted 0.09 ppts): hourly rates +0.88%, hours worked -1.84% = incomes -0.98%
  • Rental, Hiring & Real Estate (deducted 0.08 ppts): hourly rates -6.35%%, hours worked +2.13% = incomes -4.36%

By combining the Labour Account data with our own Conus Regional Industry Employment Trend data we can estimate the average income changes across QLD’s regions. These estimates assume that industry sector changes are equal across the nation; differences in regions are therefore driven by the varying industry sector make-up of their employment environment.

While nationwide average incomes were up 2.08%, in QLD the rise was a little less at just 2.00%. Greater Brisbane saw better growth at 2.13% while the Rest of QLD was significantly weaker at just 1.88%. In our own area Cairns performed quite well (+2.10%) while Townsville perfomed better than all other QLD regions (+2.33%) on the back of over-representation in those high-scoring sectors such as Healthcare, Retail and Transport.

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