Six-figure incomes required to avoid city-wide stress

Data from Business NSW shows that a single tenant needs to earn more than $100,000 in 82 of Sydney’s 209 ZIP codes to avoid housing stress.

The Average Weekly Asking Rent in December 2022 in Bondi ($900), Manly ($860), Coogee ($835), Pyrmont ($778), Surry Hills ($675), Crows Nest ($660), Chippendale ($622) and Lane Cove ($600) . ) requires a person to earn more than $100,000 per year to avoid housing stress.

The six-figure incomes required to live in many Sydney suburbs also make it difficult for nurses, ambulances, police officers, firefighters and teachers to afford them.

Early childhood educators without qualifications earn $43,175 per year under the award, which is $52,208 per year with qualifications.

A director of a child care service can earn up to $78,093.60 per year, but a spokesman for the United Workers Union said, “We want to emphasize that these types of salaries are only paid to director-level educators.”

The union’s director of early education, Helen Gibbons, said local labor shortages in high-income areas were widespread, given the industry estimate of 16,000 workers.

“Because of low wages, educators are increasingly being pushed out of their communities and pushed out of the workforce altogether,” she said.


Last month the union called for a 25 percent wage increase to stem the flow of workers leaving early childhood education.

Dovgan’s employer, Nicky’s Kids Town in Lane Cove West, is authorized to care for 69 children per day but has a daily cap of 60 children due to staff shortages.

Owner Nicky Upfold pays above-average wages but said there were four full-time and two part-time vacancies at two daycare centers she runs in northern Sydney.

According to Upfold’s estimates, she pays 20 hours of overtime per week to employees who work longer hours.

“There are so many jobs in this sector across NSW,” she said. “People don’t have to come from Parramatta to Lane Cove to work because there’s a lot of work in western Sydney.”

Upfold employees even travel from the Central Coast and Blacktown, but she said some workers have switched to part-time work because of the long commute. She expects staff shortages to worsen once cheaper childcare allowances are introduced in July.

Tsering Rokaya shares a two-bedroom apartment in Rockdale with three friends and commutes about an hour to work at Bela Babes daycare in Artarmon.

Rokaya also works part-time as an office cleaner in St Leonards and studies at the Australian Catholic University in North Sydney.

She said living on the North Shore was too expensive, leaving her with no choice but to live in Rockdale.


A Business NSW survey of 900 companies found that 43 per cent of companies identified the availability and affordability of housing as a barrier to employing workers.

Daniel Hunter, CEO of Business NSW, said the Sydney housing crisis is affecting companies’ ability to attract and retain employees.

“Housing costs are driving up wage demands as workers try to meet rising rents and mortgage payments,” he said.

Hunter said affluent suburbs, which have largely been spared higher-density housing, are at risk of suffering the most acute labor shortages due to a chronic lack of affordable housing.


Healthcare, childcare, hospitality and retail have probably been hit the hardest, as wages are low and working from home is not possible

The corporate lobby wants a 30 per cent target for affordable housing on surplus government-owned land for key workers and all of Sydney is to be rezoned to allow for medium-density housing such as townhouses, terraced houses, double occupancy and low-rise buildings.

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Justin Scacco

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