The cost of work: What we pay to work

Monday, August 17, 2015

The unemployment rate is rising, but so are the costs of work. And while living costs and house prices have been rising faster than wages, the costs associated with work are also on the way up. From toll roads to public transport costs, a simple cup of coffee to updating work clothes. From childcare costs to tax increases, Australians are paying to work.

A recent 2015 McCrindle Research study of over 540 working Australians reveals that income doesn’t just generate wealth, it also consumes it. Australians are forking out more than ever on transport costs, clothing and food while they are working, significantly reducing their take-home pay. Incurring travel costs associated with work, work-related education expenses, child-care costs, and income tax all further reduce a full-time worker’s take-home pay to less than two thirds of their gross salary.

THE LIFESTYLE COSTS OF WORK

95% of working Australians spend their own money on food and beverages during work times, with almost 3 in 4 Australians (74%) purchasing lunch, morning tea, or coffees when at work or when travelling to/from work at least once per week. More than one fifth of Australians (22%) spend their own money on consumable food items every single day while they are at work.

YOUNGER MALES BUY LUNCH MOST

Males tend to eat out more often, with 27% of male employees purchasing food or beverages at least once per day (compared with 16% of females). The frequency at which employees purchase consumables while at work decreases with age. While 78% of Generation Ys and 77% Generation Xs spend their own money on food and beverages at least once per week, this reduces to 60% for the Baby Boomer Generation.

ALMOST $900 ON LUNCHES PER YEAR

The average Australian employee spends $18.52 on lunches, snacks, and beverages during their workday every week. This takes into consideration the 6% of Australians who don’t spend money on food while they are at work, and ranges to include those who go out more than once a day, some of whom spend over $100 on food and beverages while at work each week. Over a 48-week work year, this average weekly spend accumulates to $889 per year.

THE COST OF FASHION

In an effort to keep up with the latest styles and fashions or simply to avoid wearing the same thing every day, employees spend hundreds of dollars on clothing per year. Australians report spending an average of $320 each year of their own money on clothes they require directly for work. This includes employees across all industries and factors into account those who spend very little, having uniforms supplied, as well as those who purchase corporate apparel.

GETTING TO WORK: THE RISING COST OF CARS

After childcare and tax costs, transport is the greatest expense when it comes to work, with the average Australian spending $99.88 each week on work-related petrol costs, tolls, and/or public transport tickets. While public transport cost increases have been modest, the big challenge for workers has been the rising cost of petrol, tolls and car ownership, and this is particularly relevant for the 2 in 3 Australians (65.5%) who travel to work by private vehicle. The average full time worker spends almost $4,800 per year just on getting to and from work.

UPSKILLING, RETRAINING AND KNOWLEDGE-GAINING

30% of working Australians spent their own money last year on education and training directly associated with their line of work, averaging to $1,936. Overall (accounting for the 70% who didn’t spend any of their own money on employment-related learning), the average Australian worker spends $588.60 per annum of their own money on training, and much of this, where it is retraining for a new career or role, is not tax deductable.

THE CHILDCARE COST CHALLENGE

The Productivity Commission Study into childcare shows the median childcare costs are $7.40 per hour ($74 for a 10 hour day). For those requiring full time childcare for 50 hours per week, this would cost them $370 per week which equates to 22% of the average full time weekly earnings.

A TAXING PROBLEM

The current average full time weekly earnings is $1539.40 per week ($80,049 per annum) which brings this average wage into the third tax bracket (a tax rate of 37 cents per dollar). Based on the 2015-2016 tax schedule this average annual earnings package would attract a tax bill of $16,768.

FOR MANY, IT IS MORE THAN HALF

The average full-time Australian worker who earns $80,049 per annum (current full time adult weekly earnings) is spending $889 of that on lunches, $320 on wardrobe changes, $4,794 on transport costs, $587 on education, $17,760 on child-care (based on 70 hours at average costs) and $16,768 on tax (not including tax deductions). These total work costs add up to $41,118, which is 51% of the average annual gross.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

medicine society trends bureau daily telegraph spirituality mentor train Word Up home owner family future of work emerging technologies challenge mccrindle in the media Kirsten Brewer waverton etiquette focus groups relevant baby names Canberra cloudy days survey car lifestyle NBRS Architecture gold coast TDE travelling affordability goals finance baby social analysis dreaming bondi motivate in the media year 7 sector wide study typical australian workplace culture language norwest rain public speaker Sydney online demographer new office potts point weather students NBRS not-for-profit grave decision royal family forum government shbc sydney event holiday household education research australian social research wages wealth distribution apartment tea internship eliane miles ACF mother's day careers 2013 consumer data visualisation ABS wedding participants learn mccrindle tea GPO Research Executive networking SMART change states wealth faux-cilising investing organisations Engineering Manager socialising insight population growth January 26th TAS greatness Tuesday Trend gen alpha changing face of sydney sydney hills sentiments teaching Wellington thrive sector wide home ownership ageing population market research study Royals environment politics sydney metro visual Bathburst wage experience social impact social life grandparents data analyst sustainable princess charlotte Geoff Brailey shifts Myth Social Trend couple men workshop engage Australian Communities Trends February 16 Andrew Duffin Christchurch follow survey design Australian Bureau of Statistics city qualitative research tattoos Queensland: QLD investment authenticity REIV National Conference VIC overcast population map society baby names australia report sydney speaker communication list child care healthy future Do It Yourself award charity Sydney keynote speaker infographic summer work families national crime rates meetings panel Generation X winter HSC cost of living brand experience salary SA video innovative baby name trends mythbusting townhouses the australian dream generational trends ageing baby name acf15 English leadership collaborative 10 years church proactive christianity world low density click local average aussie narcissism social researcher university degree crime generation alpha prince george environmental scanning high density Australians optimistic wealth and income Real Estate divorce rate daily commute group session Christmas presents FPA in depth interviews financial future engagement visualisation Melbourne hobart demographics google Res Vis World Water Day middle class Australian Population national private wealth mccrindle research ashley fell relational 2020 NT children suburban living names unemployment hills shire quote learning learning styles marrickville 24,000,000 teleworking business keynote speaker goal going out social shifts trends of 2016 households DIY future of education infographic wall education sector social media research visualisation tuesday tips affordable megatrends Charlotte cancelling event earning social commentator demographic poker master spend Caregiver marriages Gen X census results housing trends event tv royal influence investor Queensland know the times speakers employment keynote Mark McCrindle neutral bay water real darwin VET sector pyrmont high density apartments young australians brands thought leadership professional speaker teachers Aussies faith builders the average aussie 1968 Crime Rates 23 million brisbane personal growth personalities schools house price professional development vegemite generation Adelaide financial fears sydneysiders cooking social commentary 1975 social trends shopper's pick trends father's day consumerism belief easy rider cancel plans DESTEL rental stress dessert easter newspaper Education Future Forum housing affordability aussie culture sports balance hornsby nfp entrepreneurial residents facts urban taskforce australians staying home more Financial Planning Association of Australia Assistant Store Manager digital education future report ease of travel Real Estate Institute of Victoria sunburnt country fears graphs pharmacies events economy media commentary responsive office australian communities trends report australian communities forum energy Wodonga trends analyst marriage Territory future-proof commute increasing densification land of the middle class marketing paying to work 2015 communications case study social researchers logan housing market stats focus group McCrindle Speakers vegetarian leader Western Australia future divorce dream business index optus Skilling crows nest social communicate cars Vocational education product data publication lalor park slideshare Financial Planning Week entrepreneur budget mythbusters Netflix life high density living rent growing population population 2016 census anzac group forecasting royal mining boom James Ward rise of local coffee sydneycity Christmas season living Births student generation Z retirement baby name predictions story Financial Planning Association insights NEETs work mates youth Scouts research data recap work-life Australian Dream culture suburbs debate celebration house price rise cartodb PSI geomapping learner generations staff outsourcing customer entertainment Australian communities property market millionth global generations 1994 breakfast presentation Australia Day 2017 financial home buildings resilience innovation royal baby long weekend faux-cilise cancelling plans trend tuesday commuters earn Northern Beaches internships offenders ethnography school students Northern beaches Event women media activity Work place volunteers social enquiry Valentine’s Day urban living index village educated friendship 40 million teacher happiness WA conference census news training house holidays google for education deloitte twentyseventeen Duchess of Cambridge Sydney Hills Business Chamber employers culturally diverse property financial independence media mobile program 2016 kate middleton global mateship meals 1980 wellbeing presentations optus my business awards capital cities urban food Tasmania rising house prices community engagement fresh ACT omnibus urban living curiosity EFF census 2016 aged care puzzle criminal snapshot jobs of the future CBD results cultural diversity NSW online shopping owning a home the hills shire workforce tertiary education plans intern contiki community event Christmas lunch conference presentation gender moderators guide ultimo faux-ciliser mccrindle capital city 2012 leadership workshop education future Australian Trends REIV Conference define parents financial dreams Wagga Wagga communities global financial crisis year 12 storytelling litter Merry Christmas 2014 #censusfail ashley mckenzie weekly earnings cash tableau rich national wealth wealth and income distribution Northern Beaches Christian School brand clothing millennials youth unemployment annual income research pack eliane Australian Families economic emerging trends house prices world youth day futurist 2017 menai non profit Generation Y public speaking future proofing New South Wales baby names report Deaths millenials sector interactive ipswich school satisfaction friends social change victoria perth university ideas FOMO post rationalism career poor social research Australian demographics cold Hornsby Shire Council professional services aged care demographic trends the changing face of award winner ACF 2016 census fail collaboration resource Australia Day Northern Territory trades public holiday identity Population Clock 24 million future proof income growth australia skills priorities workplace staying in demographic transformations new york times trend monarchy rule keeper social lives high school renting media release New Zealand Australian schools housing growth Hills Shire Council small business christian forecast equip dare to dream school bus office space wolloomooloo manly conferences sun transport toys debt 2016 census results safe community analysis Kiwi blaxland entrepreneurs of today hello fresh religion System's Architect Australian Home Love Channel 7 The ABC of XYZ office opening local communities schools students property price educhat report research conference speaker education organisational culture young people internet South Australia social issues The Daily Edition parenting business performance seasons suburb not for profit Macquarie University mover and shaker area housing research services mortgage renter of the future trends of 2017 christmas "know the times" socialites population milestone huffington post stay home Tuesday Trends JOMO state VET baby boomers emerging generations jobs professional ferry technology research report IT Specialists Gen Y Aussie travel winter blues woolworths earnings hopes unaffordable the hills statistics moreton bay selfie pharmacy New Zeland alpha repayments cost Channel Seven Australian Census SMSF teach sunny days baby boom gen z domestic shopping researcher supply and demand

Archive