Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Good News For Women

Average Weekly Earnings data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that female earnings are growing faster than male earnings and the gap between male and female earnings is closing under the Howard Government.Today’s data shows that over the past year Female Full-Time Adult Ordinary Time Earnings grew more strongly at 4.9% over the year compared to a 4.7% growth for men.

Since the Howard Government came to office women’s earnings have increased by 22.3% compared with 19.7% for male earnings. This means that women’s earnings have increased by a further 1.8 percentage points as a proportion of men’s.

Over 1.6 million new jobs have been created since 1996 and unemployment for women has fallen from 7.6% to 5.5%.

Through our strong economic management, Australian women now have more opportunities and choice, including those provided by workforce participation.