Canadian expat shocked by Australian wages

The man said the wages were higher than he expected, but Aussies told him why it's nothing to get excited about.

A Canadian expat has applauded Australia's minimum wage level — a move that's got many Aussies imploring the man to understand why they are higher here.

Currently living in Melbourne, the young man shared his experience when looking for casual work and finding out how much a retail business would pay him.

"Before moving to Australia, I knew the minimum wage was high, but I didn’t know it was this high," he said in his TikTok on Saturday.

Two photos of a Canadian man living in Australia who is impressed with the wages in the country, and has compared them to Canada and the US.
A Canadian man living in Australia is impressed with the wages in the country, and has compared them to Canada and the US. Source: TikTok

"So right now I'm looking for work and I went to a retail place and was asking how much they get paid. And of their casual work, they get paid $31 an hour. That's insane.

"To compare, that's $28 Canadian dollars an hour or in US, it’s $21 an hour."

What is the minimum wage in Australia?

In Australia, the national minimum wage is $23.23 per hour or $882.80 per week as of July 1, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman. Casual employees will also get at least a 25 per cent casual loading.

In Canada there is a federal minimum wage of CAD$16.65 ($18.78) per hour. In the US the minimum wage is $US7.25 ($10.84) per hour but it varies from state to state. In California for example, it is double that at $15.50 ($23.18) an hour.

He added that because Australia has a "huge labour shortage", he finds it "absolutely crazy how much you can get if you have experience."

"Back in Canada, if you’re a barista, you’d still be getting $16, maybe $17 an hour [Canadian], but here you can get $29 to $31 [AUD]," he claimed.

Social media users respond to video

The man's video garnered more than 284,000 views, with some agreeing with him. "Wait till you work Sunday," one person said.

However many Aussies didn't exactly agree with the Canadian, pointing out the high cost-of-living in Australia and encouraging him to see that "it's all relative".

"You forget about the cost of living here," one person said. "We get paid good but everything is way expensive so it cancels out." "That money disappears as soon as it hits the bank," another said.

While for many Australians the cost-of-living situation is dire, some pointed to that fact that the issue is not unique to the country.

"All the comments of people saying expenses are so high here… things are just as expensive in North America if not worse in some cities," one person commented.

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