Average mining wage $114,000
†MINING workers are paid two-thirds more than those on the average wage, figures show, and the gap is likely to widen as skills shortages take hold during the flood reconstruction.
Workers in the booming industry receive average pay of $114,700 a year, Bureau of Statistics figures showed yesterday, compared with average full-time pay of $68,300 over the whole economy.
Despite employing †just 1.5 per cent of workers, mining was the highest paid industry by a long margin, followed by construction, finance and other professions.
With competition for skilled labour expected to heat up as flood-affected areas rebuild, the disparity between mining workers’ pay and the rest is tipped to expand further.
The chief economist at CommSec, Craig James, said there was already a shortage of Australians with the skills and inclination to work in mining, with its shift work and tough physical conditions. Extra demand for skilled workers could drive wage demands higher, he said.
”If we are going to encourage more workers to go into the mining sector, they will be encouraged by higher wages.”