The ABS data gender pay gap

Australia’s national gender pay gap is 12 per cent.

As of November 2023, the full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings across all industries and occupations was $1982.80 for men and $1744.80 for women.

For every dollar on average men earned, women earned 88 cents. That's $238 less than men each week.

Over the course of a year, this difference adds up to $12,376.

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. 

State gender pay gap data

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

As of November 2023, the gender pay gap is: 

  • 11.0% in New South Wales
  • 10.7% in Victoria
  • 11.5% in Queensland
  • 9.2% in South Australia
  • 21.7% in Western Australia
  • 5.4% in Tasmania
  • 15.4% in the Northern Territory
  • 10.3% in the ACT

These differences 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. 

Industry gender gap gaps

Australia's base salary gender pay gap is: 

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

In the past year the ABS data shows significant reductions in the gender pay gap in Construction, Transport, Postal and Warehousing, Retail and Wholesale Trade.

However, increases were recorded in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Arts and Recreation Services, Manufacturing, Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services, Accommodation and Food Services, and Other Services.  

Private sector versus public sector

According to the ABS data, the gender pay gap is lower in the public sector compared to the private sector. 

The gender pay gap is: 

  • 14.8% in the private sector
  • 10.4% in the public sector

Find out more

Each year, private sector employers with 100 or more employees report their gender equality data to WGEA in our annual Employer Census. 

The information from these reports, including gender pay gaps can be found on the WGEA Data Explorer. This interactive tool also shows whether employers have a policy or strategy to improve workplace gender equality, and what that strategy contains. 

Everything you need to know about how, when and where WGEA will publish the gender pay gaps for private sector employers with 100 or more employees. 

Find out why the gender pay gap is different to equal pay, how it's measured and what causes it.

Learn how WGEA calculates and presents its employer gender pay gap data.