Male managers in Australia were earning $14.10 more per hour on average than women in May 2023, according to new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This is the largest gender pay gap compared to several other occupations, with sales workers recording the smallest hourly rate gap at $2.30.

Overall, managers were also paid the highest than any other occupation, at an average of $2,712.40, followed by professionals ($1,954.00), and machinery operators and drivers ($1,631.00). The lowest paid occupation on average is sales workers, at $785.40.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said analysing the difference between male and female earnings is complex and there is no single measure that can provide a complete picture. 

“Hourly earnings comparisons are particularly useful in understanding gender pay differences beyond weekly earnings measures, given women are more likely to work part-time than men,” Jarvis said.

"On average, hourly earnings were $46.10 for men, compared to $42.00 for women, a difference of 8.9 per cent. This gap has narrowed from 9.7 per cent in May 2021.”


Across all eight occupations, men continued to earn more per hour than women, in line with the amount they earn per week.

This is also the same across all industries. For the retail sector in particular, the weekly gender pay gap for full-time non-managerial employees was $137, with men earning $1,464.30 per week on average, while women earn $1,327.30.

Across all sectors, employees earned an average of $1,490 in May 2023, with men earning an average of $1,731 and women $1,261.

“The majority of full-time employees are men (61 per cent) with higher average earnings ($2,074 a week) than full-time women ($1,815 a week),” Jarvis said. 

“The majority of all part-time employees are women (69 per cent) with higher average weekly earnings than part-time men ($817 compared to $759). This reflects the greater use of part-time working arrangements by women in higher paying jobs, compared to men.”

Distributional data showed that the top-earning quarter of employees in Australia earned more than $1,956 a week in May 2023, while the lowest earning quarter received less than $785. 

Median weekly earnings were $1,300, with men earning $1,509 and women $1,130.

The most common method of setting pay in May 2023 was an individual arrangement, which lifted by 1 percentage point to 39 per cent compared to May 2021. This was followed by a collective agreement - 34 per cent, down from 35 per cent in 2021.

Less than a quarter of employees were paid according to an award (23 per cent). A small proportion of employees were owner managers of incorporated enterprises (4 per cent) who set their own pay. Both of these were similar percentages to 2021.

Men were more likely to have their pay set by an individual arrangement (45 per cent), while a collective agreement was the most common method for women (38 per cent).

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