ANU Associate Professor Ben Phillips, who was in the same UQ Economics Honours class as me, has released an excellent note Trends in Household Living Standards in Australia: 1990 to 2016, which shows significant declines in real per capita earnings in Queensland and WA since the end of the mining boom (see my chart below based on figures I estimated consistent with Ben’s methodology). You may recall Ben’s analysis featured in an article by David Uren in yesterday’s Australian. Ben notes:
“Without the mining boom Queensland and WA wages are falling (in real, per capita terms). Over the past three years Queensland wages are down 4.4 per cent and WA wages are down 6.8 per cent.”
This is having a profoundly negative impact in the mining regions. And the associated decline in spending is having adverse flow-on impacts in a range of industries across Queensland. For example, the Gladstone Observer published this article yesterday:
The adjustment to the mining downturn continues to be a challenging one.