According to figures issued recently by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, there were 46,870 primary applications granted for the subclass 457 visa category in the eight months to the end of February, a rise of 4.8 per cent on the same period last year.
The average base salary (not including overtime, superannuation, bonuses or salary package items) nominated by sponsors for these new 457 visa entrants was $83,300. The average annual ordinary-time earnings for a full-time adult worker in Australia was $72,592 in November, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
At the end of February 2013, there were 107,510 primary 457 visa-holders in Australia, up 21.5 per cent on this time last year.
Mr O’Connor said that over the summer, the accommodation and food service industry had seen a doubling in the number of 457 applications compared with the previous summer, especially due to demand for cooks. At a base salary average of $55,000, the hospitality sector has the lowest-paid 457 workers.
Still, the annual earnings of foreigners working at hotels, cafes and restaurants are higher than the $51,626 industry average.
In mining, 457 visa-holders were paid $118,600, compared with the industry average of $122,767.
When total remuneration is taken into account, however, foreign mine workers are paid $138,900. Using an ABS series which considers “total cash earnings”, plus a nominal 9 per cent superannuation contribution, the average total remuneration for mining becomes $135,350.
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