It's a good time to be a male public servant in Canberra
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It's a good time to be a male public servant in Canberra

It's a good time to be a male public servant in Canberra. Average annual wages in Canberra are more than $100,000 – but only for men or for those in the public sector.

Salaries went backwards for women and private sector workers.

The other bad news is the ACT has among the nation's slowest-growing wages – about a quarter of the national rate.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data put the average wage for a Canberran (at least those in full-time work, without taking into account overtime) at $94,292 in November. By comparison, the average wage in Australia was $83,455.

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While the data doesn't take into account what jobs people have and the hours they work, they provide a broad comparison across jurisdiction and genders.

This is the first time public-sector wages crossed the $100,000 mark, to $102,357. Average wages in the ACT's private sector fell slightly, to $86,018.

The bureau only publishes original data when comparing the private and public sectors in Canberra – that is, it doesn't adjust the data for seasonal factors.

It's the second time Canberra men topped six figures, coming in at $100,714. (Average male wages in the ACT first nudged past $100,000 in the previous report.)

Across industries, mining still has the biggest pay packets ($135,808 a year) while those in accommodation and food services have the lowest ($60,372).

The bureau also published unemployment data on Thursday. The ACT's trend rate was steady at 3.5 per cent, which CommSec chief economist Craig James said was "effectively at full employment".

"Further falls in the jobless rate will probably only come at the cost of higher wages and prices," he said.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was steady at a seven-year low of 5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms.

David McLennan is Digital Editor at The Canberra Times.

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