Are you paid too much?

In today’s Australian Financial Review there is an item on page 19 titled “Are you paid too much”. In this item they list the average annual incomes of a number of professions and the underlying inference is that some professions are being paid too much. This results from the recent government decision not to provide financial assistance to the local canned fruit industry and in particular SPC Ardmona.

One interesting number in the article is that the ‘average ordinary-hours wage in manufacturing’ is $67,000 per annum. This is about $32.21 per hour based on the notional 260 day working year and an eight hour working day.

Some of the incomes covered are:

  • Psychiatrists pick up $208,00 per annum which is close to $100.00 each hour worked.
  • Crain, hoist, and lift operators who get $159,000 per annum or $76.44 per hour.
  • Mining engineers who make $140,000 per annum or $67.31 per hour.
  • Barristers who average $121,000 a year or $58.17 an hour.

So. Are you getting paid too much?

Another chart included with this article shows that the ‘average weekly earnings for full time employees’ have increased between 1994 and 2012. These numbers are:

  • The top 20 percent of earners have enjoyed an average weekly wage increase of 45 pecent over that 18 years.
  • The bottom 20 percent have picked up an average weekly wage increase of 26 percent over the same time.

All numbers are before tax and are (obviously) in Australian dollars.

As a complete aside, and this is not covered in the AFR article, the top 20 percent of earners have had a 45 percent increase in income over the last 18 years and yet in that same period house prices have gone up how much!! That would be about 350 percent!! Anyone but me see a problem here?