Cootamundra’s lower reported incomes compared with regional cities should be viewed in light of the region’s older workers and fewer public sector jobs.
That’s according to Michael Twomey, principal of Twomeys financial planning firm in Cootamundra.
The latest ‘Jobs in Australia’ report from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has tracked income levels across the nation’s towns and suburbs between 2011/12 and 2015/16.
In the 2015/16 financial year, Cootamundra’s median income per job was $17,888 with the median income per male job was $18,624, ahead of the median for females at $16,996.
Cootamundra had a smaller gap between male and female incomes than in most of the Riverina.
However, its income levels were lower than in areas such as Wagga Wagga, with a median of $21,449.
Mr Twomey said the income information needed to be viewed in context.
“Cootamundra has 47 per cent of its population over the age of 50 and 24 per cent under the age of 19,” he said.
“This means that 34 per cent are in the 20 to 49 age bracket with generally the highest level of full time employment and the greatest income producing opportunities.”
Mr Twomey said the types of jobs available in and around Cootamundra also had an impact.
“Also there is less than average government employment levels in Coota compared to say Wagga, which has the Army, Air Force, university, major hospital as well as schools and a large council,” he said.
Mr Twomey said Cootamundra had the advantage of more retired people whose superannuation was growing in line with inflation.