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Excerpted from Australia Career Guide

Economic and Employment Outlook

Australia is the world’s largest island, with a population of more than 22 million. The country has a strong economy, with an estimated GDP (Gross Domestic Product – a measure of a country’s wealth) of 1.488 trillion USD and a per capita GDP of 43,000 USD. For more than 20 years, Australia’s annual economic growth averaged 3.5 percent. Global economic uncertainties have slowed expected growth for at least the next decade, but Australia’s financial system is strong, unemployment and personal debt are low, and inflation is contained.

Areas of Job Promise

In spite of the generally subdued hiring atmosphere, 45 percent of Australia’s employers report talent shortages, well above the global average of about one-third. Skilled trade vacancies are the hardest to fill, largely because of a lack of available candidates. Positions for engineers are the second-hardest for employers to fill, according to Manpower.

The ten hardest positions to fill:

  • Skilled trades workers
  • Engineers
  • Sales representatives
  • Managers/Executives
  • Accounting and finance staff
  • IT staff
  • Technicians
  • Laborers
  • Machine operators
  • Mechanics
  • Doctors and other health professionals


How much a worker earns in Australia depends on many factors, including the industry or organization's workplace agreements, the organization itself and the employee’s skills and experience. However, wage growth has slowed recently, due in part to the slowdown in the country’s resources sector and reduced demand from China.

The minimum wage in Australia is 18.02 AUD per hour (16.88 USD), one of the highest in the world, and more than double that in Japan or the US.

Full-time weekly earnings in Australia average 1,438 AUD (1,347 USD). That was an increase of 3.1 percent over last year. Salaries for permanent workers in Australia are likely to increase only about 1 percent this year, but they will keep pace with inflation.

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Australia Guide.

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