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Want an extra $1,000? How to get a pay rise in 2024

New data has revealed where you can find a better job with more pay.

The cost of living is crazy, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t go through my whole life eating rice and beans and watching ABC iView. Yes, budgeting and cutting costs has to be done. But we all have our limits.

Sometimes you can’t live a life of scrounge and scrimp. You need to make more dough. An extra $1,000 a month would be handy. An extra $1,000 a week would be lovely. But how? Where’s the good money flowing? And what’s the best way to manoeuvre yourself into a position where you can get some of that money?

Happily the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just published a huge dataset on monthly employee earnings that tells us exactly where pay is going up up up. And where it’s going nowhere, or even worse, backwards. Turns out some people are having a very nice time indeed.

Aussie workers
ABS data has revealed exactly where the good money is flowing and where you could nab a pay rise. (Source: AAP)

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For example, one factor that affects rate of pay rises people have been getting, is the state you live in. The happy territorians of the ACT have been seeing their pay go up the most in recent times. Tasmanians too. But the weakest pay rises have been in the big states, NSW and Victoria.

Wages growth by state
ACT residents have seen their pay go up the most, while NSW and VIC residents' wage growth has been the weakest. (Source: Jason Murphy)

Note this graph is not just showing pay rises for individual employees, it’s showing total payroll change. So a state that is hiring a lot of people will show up as high growth. That’s also likely to be a state where organisations are paying more to every person as they try to fill roles, and one where you could find a job if you looked.


The average pay for a worker in Australia right now is $1,400 a week, or $73,000. But the average pay for a full-time worker is $1,958, or $102,000 a year. Of course that varies by your age, but if you’re in your working prime and making less than that, it could be time to look around and consider your options.


Of course, moving house is hard and moving states isn’t realistic for many of us. Luckily there are other things you can change that make an even bigger difference. Your industry affects your pay rises much more than your location.

As the next chart shows, agriculture, forestry and fishing workers have gone backwards over the past year, while electricity, gas and water workers are pulling in way more. If you feel like your pay’s not keeping up, flipping industry might be the answer!

Wages growth by industry
Electricity gas and water workers are seeing the biggest wages growth. (Source: Jason Murphy)

Even if the job title is the same, it can make a lot of sense to do a role at a company in a booming industry. When you work in an industry with big profits, managers are less likely to be on the warpath about overtime and expenses. There can even be bonuses. But if you’re in a suffering industry, where margins are falling, management will make sure the suffering is shared by staff. Travel will be off the cards, anything you put on a company credit card will be questioned, etc.

Put another way, I’d rather be doing HR or accounting in the mining industry than the restaurant industry right now.

Swapping industry can be difficult of course. But there’s still other tricks you can use to get yourself a better job with more pay. One of them is: join a bigger company.

As the next chart shows, smaller firms haven’t been keeping up with the growth of big firms. If you’re part of a group of more than 200 employees, your company has probably been paying much more, hiring more people, giving them more hours, etc. But if you’ve only got one or two colleagues it’s likely your pay is treading water.

Joining a big corporate firm in the ACT in the electricity, gas and water space might be the sweet spot!

Wages growth by company size
Bigger companies are paying more. (Source: Jason Murphy)

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