Finance Finance News Mining boom generates more wealth for top income earners

Mining boom generates more wealth for top income earners

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A study shows the mining boom has generated up to 65 per cent more wealth for the top 20 per cent of West Australian households.

But the research by Curtin University shows not all areas have reaped the rewards.

It analysed the effects of the boom from 2003/04 to its peak in 2009/10 and found while those with higher incomes benefited substantially, other residents also benefited due to increased employment opportunities.

It also shows disposable incomes in WA have overtaken the national average by nine per cent in the last five years.

The author Professor Alan Duncan says incomes were the highest in the Pilbara, followed by those in the Goldfields.

He says while wealth inequality grew marginally, the overall wage results were positive.

“We find the 20 per cent have really kept pace with CPI but the third to the tenth percentile or the top 70 per cent of the distribution of income in WA, there have been real gains in income,” he said.

Professor Duncan says some regions have not shared in the gains.

“For example, the Wheatbelt and Great Southern – the proportion of individuals with incomes in those brackets are 6 and 5 percent and below so there’s a really marked difference in the distribution of income across regions of Western Australia,” he said.