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Average Salaries Drop and SA Ranked as The Worst Place to Find a Job

We are already 3 months into 2016 and as we tie loose ends at the end of the first quarter we’ve also done some research into the job market to provide a summary of the year so far.

There is an array of both good and bad news but the main points to note are:

  • Average salaries YOY rise for 3 states but fall for 4.
  • SA is hardest place to find a job with 16 job seekers per vacancy.
  • ACT ranks the best with just 3 job seekers per vacancy.
  • The IT industry is the highest paying and retail is the lowest.
  • Victoria’s average salary for job vacancies drops below the rest of Australia.

Any drop in average salaries raises red flags, but when it is 4 out of 7 states and territories Australia-wide, it’s definitely not good news. VIC, TAS, NT and WA all saw a fall in average salaries compared to March 2015 with NT experiencing the biggest drop of 5.96 per cent. CEO Raife Watson says ‘We should not be seeing a backwards step in salaries. We should at the very least see marginal increases year on year’. There is particular concern for Victoria which has seen an alarming drop of 4.21 per cent, bringing the average salary for current vacancies below SA, the state that typically struggles to keep up with the rest of Australia. But there could be reasonable explanations for this drop – including a larger number of regional administration jobs and a struggling manufacturing industry.


Unsurprisingly, the IT industry offers the highest average salary of $118,753, closely followed by Healthcare and Nursing ($117,251) and Legal Services ($90,438). Retail and hospitality on the other hand both trend well below the national average salary. Raife Watson puts these figures down to the complex nature of IT roles which as we know typically pay higher compared with retail and hospitality roles that are very much based on routine tasks.

ausjobseekersvacancyFinally, South Australia has once again been named the worst place to find a job with an average of 16 job seekers fighting for each job vacancy. Not only is SA suffering the highest unemployment rate of Australia, it is also the most competitive place to find work AND is the most susceptible to imminent automation. Either more jobs need to be created in SA or job seekers need to seriously consider relocating because 16:1 aren’t good odds. Luckily, there’s a good chance SA will be home to the building of 12 submarines which will generate thousands of high-skill jobs but the government is yet to make a final decision.

The ACT on the other hand is the best place to find a job with a job seeker to job vacancy ratio of 3:1. But CEO Raife Watson says this figure could seem better than it really is as it doesn’t take into account those interstate job seekers who jump into Canberra for the government opportunities or to kickstart their career and then leave. As for the rest of the country, NSW and NT performed well with 4 job seekers per vacancy, 7:1 in Victoria, 8:1 in QLD, 10:1 in WA and 14:1 in TAS.

View the full job report here.