Tasmania’s average wage has fallen further behind the national average.
Tasmanian workers’ full-time average weekly ordinary time earnings (AWOTE) increased by $25.40 to $1377.30 in the year to May, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated.
That was an annual increase of 1.9 per cent, which was below the rate of Hobart inflation for the year to June (2.4 per cent).
National AWOTE increased by $40.50 to $1586.20.
That was a 2.6 per cent increase, a way ahead of national inflation (2.1 per cent).
The changes left Tasmanian AWOTE at 86.8 per cent of national AWOTE, state Treasury analysis showed.
Tasmania did better in the second half of the year to May, with AWOTE up by $18 for the half-year, compared to $18.50 nationally.
The ACT had the highest AWOTE ($1813.40).
New South Wales (3.8 per cent) and Queensland (3 per cent) had the strongest annual AWOTE growth, while South Australian AWOTE did not change.
SA had the second lowest AWOTE (1447.80), which was $70.50 ahead of Tasmania’s.
Treasury said AWOTE was “susceptible to changes in the occupation and skill levels of the workforce”.
States and territories with higher proportions of higher paying jobs - such as the ACT with public servants and Western Australia with miners - tend to have higher AWOTE, although there are other factors.
In his latest Tasmania Report for the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, economist Saul Eslake said: “ … the single most important reason why Tasmanian wages and salaries are lower than anywhere else is because Tasmanian labour productivity is 12 per cent below the national average ...”
“ … one of the most important reasons for that is because Tasmanian employees are, on average, less educated and skilled than those in other parts of Australia.”