The Australian Government has released its latest State of Australian Cities report which includes data on the way incomes have changed in each major city since 2006. So which city comes out on top? The answer might surprise you...
The below graph shows the change in income in Australia’s major cities between 2006 and 2011 (click to enlarge):
As you can see, Townsville has enjoyed the most growth in this area, with income levels rising by an impressive 46 percent. Meanwhile, the city of Albury-Wodonga on the Murray River experienced the lowest overall growth, with income levels rising by less than 10 percent.
"While there has been a large variation in income growth between cities, the overall rate of growth for major cities has been reasonably strong," the report notes.
In a result that will surprise few realists, the report also found that while incomes have increased across the board, the rate of growth is higher at the 'top end' than at the 'bottom end':
For lower income households, growth has been driven by increased workforce participation and employment, whereas for higher income households it has been driven by higher wages. For middle income households both drivers are evident.
The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, has declined over the past two decades to around 5.6 percent. The report puts this down to Australia's strong economic growth, but acknowledges that underemployment has risen by as much as eight percent in the last 12 months.
"While underemployment is not as problematic to workers as unemployment, it can have long-term consequences for career progression, earning potential and retirement income," the report cautions.