The ABS data gender pay gap

Australia’s national gender pay gap is 13 per cent.

As of May 2023, the full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings across all industries and occupations was $1938.30 for men and $1,686.00 for women. 

For every dollar on average men earned, women earned 87 cents. That's $252.30 less than men each week. 

Over the course of one year, that adds up to $13,119.60.

How is Australia's national gender pay gap calculated?

WGEA calculates the national gender pay gap using the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released in February and August. This data comes from a sample of employers selected from the Australian Business Register, with a slightly different sample taken each time. 

The ABS data set: 

  • estimates full-time weekly base salary employees in public and private sector
  • excludes overtime, pay that is salary sacrificed and superannuation
  • excludes junior and part-time employees.

The national gender gap is significantly lower than the WGEA Employer Census Gender Pay Gap, because WGEA's data comes from the annual Employer Census of more than 4 million employees. It also includes total remuneration, part time and casual employees.  

Both gender pay gaps show a significant imbalance in favour of men. 

The gender pay gap in each state

Australia's base salary gender pay gap differs significantly by state.

In May 2023: 

  • Western Australia had the widest gender pay gap at 21.4%
  • Tasmania had the smallest gender pay gap at 5.2%

This difference can be partly explained by the industry profiles of each state and territory. The full-time workforce in Western Australia, for example, has a larger share of mining and construction than other states. These two industries have relatively high earnings and low representation of women. 

The overall gender pay gap reduction was driven by decreases in all but two states: 

The gender pay gap went up in 

  • NSW = 11.8% (previously 11.0%)
  • NT = 15.6% (previously 14.2%)

The gender pay gap went down in:

  • QLD = 13.4% (previous 14.6%)
  • TAS = 5.2% (previously 6.0%)
  • VIC = 12.9% (previously 13.5%)
  • WA = 21.4% (previously 22.1%)
  • ACT = 9.7% (previously 10.0%)
  • SA = 7.0% (previously 7.8%)

The gender pay gap by industry

Australia's base salary gender pay gap is: 

  • highest in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 
  • lowest in Public Administration and Safety

Significant reductions also occurred in: 

  • Construction 
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Public Administration and Safety 

Public versus private sector

The private sector has a significantly higher gender pay gap than the public sector. As of November 2022: 

  • the private sector gender pay gap is 15.7%
  • the public sector gender pay gap is 10.6%.