The gender pay gap has widened by almost 8pc in the past year as pay rates in the mining sector outstrip those of other industries.
The pay gap between men and women has blown out to be the worst in 20 years, largely because of the hefty salaries paid in the mining and construction industries.
On average, men in full-time work are being paid nearly $15,000 more a year than women, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.
CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian says the pay gap is linked to large salaries paid in the mining and construction industries, which are traditionally dominated by men.
He said although pay rises in the mining sector have been slowing in the past year, it is still the best-paid industry.
“Now that the mining sector seems to be coming off it’s more of a combination of mining and construction that are the best paid, the more male-dominated industries,” he said.
“To some degree banking and finance as well – professional services.”
Meanwhile there is very sluggish pay growth in industries which are traditionally dominated by women, such as accommodation, food services, and retail.
“The mining wage is about two and a half times what you’d get in the retail sector,” Mr Sebastian said.
He said the pay gap between men and women is likely to widen over the coming year as housing construction increases.
The pay gap between men and women increased by almost eight per cent in the 12 months to May, the fastest pace in three years, the ABS data showed.
Average ordinary full-time gross earnings for men came in at $1,560.50 a week, while women earned $1,274.40.
Men in the mining sector earned $2,585.20, while women workers received $1,970.20.
The latest data from the ABS comes just weeks after an Oxfam report predicted that women won’t achieve equal pay for another 75 years.
The charity said Australia was one of five G20 countries where between 30 and 50 per cent of women’s employment was in part-time jobs.
Oxfam is calling for the issue of gender equity to be on the agenda for the G20 leaders conference being held in Brisbane in November.