A tale of two charts

by Rebecca Barnett

In this week’s somewhat ‘micro’ blog, I want to pose a question based on two ugly but functional charts. Without further ado or excess verbiage, here are the charts:

According to AMT’s 2017 workforce survey data, the median annual earnings of massage therapists is in the range of $20,000 – 30,000.
According to Australian government data, the average weekly earnings for massage therapists are $1038 or $53,976 per annum. This is $22, 776 lower than the national average or 30% lower.
Do you earn more or less than $1038 per week?

Now, I know that comparing median wages against average wages is not entirely fair. Median wages are always lower (and I would add a more accurate reflection of reality) than average wages because the higher-earning outliers drag the average wage up, in some industries significantly. However, notwithstanding the slight odiousness of the comparison and the fact that the AMT figures are now 3 years old, a $25,000 gap between the government gazetted average wage for massage therapists and AMT’s median is, to put it bluntly, a bloody big gap.

When we surveyed the workforce again last year, only 2% of massage therapists were being paid under the Award and only half of those – a measly 1% – were full time.

So what exactly do we think is going on in that “bloody big gap”?

About the Author

During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, Rebecca Barnett was accused of acting more like a Union Secretary than a CEO. Now that she is a fully fledged communist, she promises that this will be the last time in 2020 that she indirectly references Charles Dickens in a blog post title.

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