Further evidence this morning that going west was the thing to do during the noughties.
Growth of average income from wages and salaries — by statistical local areas 2003-04 to 2007-08
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the vast majority of SLAs with the highest average annual growth rate of average Wage and salary income between 2003-04 and 2007-08 were located in Western Australia and Queensland.
In Western Australia, these included over twenty inland and coastal SLAs surrounding Perth that offered semi-rural or rural lifestyles within two to three hours drive of the city (e.g. the SLAs of Wandering, Cuballing and Boddington) and also the remote mining area of Ravensthorpe in the state’s south east.
In Queensland, many of the areas of highest growth were associated with emerging energy resource sectors (e.g. Dalby-Chinchilla in the state’s Western Downs region and Barcoo in the state’s south-west). Other SLAs with high growth rates were located in Queensland’s Central Highlands and in Mackay (which contains much of the region’s engineering, manufacturing and mining services industries).
The ABS pointed out that high growth rates do not necessarily equate to high incomes. For example, whilst the SLA of Kojonup (in Western Australia’s wheatbelt) experienced an 8% average annual increase in average wage and salary income between 2003-04 and 2007-08, by the end of the period the average annual income in the area was just $31,434 (well below the national average of $43,921).
Some SLAs with high average wage and salary incomes experienced low average annual growth rates, while other regions recorded both low incomes and low growth rates in average Wages and salaries.