Chinese skilled migrants among Australia’s lowest paid

Earlier this week we reported the findings of the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s (ABS) latest Personal Income of Migrants survey for 2016-17, which revealed that skilled permanent migrants that have arrived in Australia since 1 January 2000 earned an appallingly low median of only $55,900 in 2016-17.

This was a shocking result given these migrants are purported to be highly qualified and brought into Australia to overcome ‘skills shortages’. Therefore, for them to be paid so low suggests that Australia is instead operating a low-skilled migration program that is undercutting Australian workers.

A breakdown of median pay levels by migrant nationality reveals that Koreans and Chinese are by far the lowest paid permanent migrants to have arrived under the skilled stream (see below table).

As you can see, the median employee income of ‘skilled’ Koreans and Chinese were a lowly $40,305 and $45,154 respectively in 2016-17, way below the median employee income of all skilled migrants of $59,304.

When looking at total median income, Koreans ($34,530) and Chinese ($37,360) were again by far the lowest paid, earning way below the median total income of all permanent skilled migrants of $55,904.

To add insult to injury, these so-called ‘skilled’ migrants from Korea and China also earned far less than the median employee income of all Australians ($49,412). This is astonishing given the median employee income of Australians is dragged down by unskilled workers, kids and university students working casually, mums working part-time, seniors working part-time, etc.

Back in April, Adam Creighton argued that Australia should focus on migrants with strong English-language proficiency, since they are likely to be the most productive and earn the highest salaries:

“The single most important measure of successful settlement in Australia is the ability to communicate in English,” states that 2014 analysis, written by David Smith and Therese Smith…

Indeed, a quarter, or 186,000 immigrants, from non-English speaking countries since 2006 haven’t had a job since they ­arrived, and three fifths of those hadn’t looked for one. For those from English-speaking countries the figures were 8 per cent, and a quarter. Overall, the unemployment rate for migrants from non-English speaking countries was 7.7 per cent in 2016 compared to and 2.1 per cent for those from the main English speaking countries…

It turns out skilled South African and English immigrants have unemployment rates of about 2 per cent, compared to a 5.6 per cent rate nationally, according to a 2014 study by the Immigration Department of arrivals between 2001 and 2011.

Certainly, the above data from the ABS supports Creighton’s argument, with skilled permanent migrants from Ireland ($82,865), the United Kingdom ($70,367) and South Africa ($65,245) having the highest median employee incomes in 2016-17.

Leith van Onselen


  1. United Kingdom ($70,367) and South Africa ($65,245)

    As I have been saying, we should import farmers from South Africa. By definition, they are already living in a rural area and they probably have no desire to live in an overcrowded megaslum – be it Sydney or Johannesburg.

    I do not know if the fake left wants migrants to the regions. Do they secretly want migrants to Sydney?

    Saffers are happy to live in Perth instead of Sydney – just look at Pogo and Kevin McNamara. Saffers probably enjoy rugby and surfing – making them way more likely to fit in. We got Marius Kloppers and Gail Kelly from there.

    • Nice idea Jacob but that what make us patently raycisst and an affront to the ‘global community’.

      We’re all ‘one’, you know. 😉

  2. I’d take these stats with a pinch of salt.
    Perhaps Chinese migrants are paid mostly in cash, or are smarter at defrauding the ATO than suckers from South Africa?

    Declared income and real income are two different things, especially for Chinese culture used to bypassing government.

    • Great comment. Better to look at their property portfolios.. Mind you, if you look at our “elites”, they certainly know a thing or two about such strategies. hmmmm, birds of a feather flock together…..

    • Yes, if you look at the “other income” Chinese are killing it! (or is it just their dodgy paperwork they got to buy houses?)

    • Yes, a very big pinch of salt I’d say.
      I don’t see too many Chinese living in the economically desolate outer Western Suburbs of Melbourne.

  3. There are so many skills shortages in so many sectors that wages are booming…..oh wait……

  4. Frankly, I’m surprised that the average Korean or Chinese migrant is able to earn so much: that’s big bananas vs what they’d have been earning back home.

    • She should have said that we’re Peking duck.
      Lambie’s great, precisely because she’s not a sell out like those to whom she’s directing her criticism. Unfortunately criticising these sell outs is like water off the back of a duck. oh dear, apologies.

  5. Not skilled Korean or Chinese.

    A large proportion are PR on our Centrelink & other welfare plus a low skilled job, plus cash in hand.
    So their declared incomes of $800 a week are probably fraudulent & understated.

    The key point here is that the ‘migrant ‘education & skilling programs’ being announced by the Australian goverment are destined to fail.

    And one needs to question why the Australian taxpayer is paying for migrant English language and ‘skilling programs’ when we are meant to have a ‘skilled & assimilating’ intake.

    The simple fact is that these migrants are old or useless, or both – and have already failed any such ‘education or skilling’ in Korea or China.

    The case is more for a revalidation & vetting of all the 1.9 million PR and aggressive deportation of those who should never have been allowed in.

    The Koreans.
    Putting aside the very old first wave, all now on Australia welfare, the Koreans are mostly end of life Korean prostitutes & their Pimps who first came in as ‘students or partners’ for the Korean run vice trade & have now got PR.

    It may surprise Australians that South Korea has a caste system that dictates everything in the standard of living, opportunity & welfare for Koreans
    The Korean Joseon caste system is the Yangbang, Jung-in, Sangmin at the top & then the Cheonmin, Baekjeobg & Nobi castes as the peasants, undesirables and beggar castes.

    Korea has chronic unskilled unemployment and a very large beggar class.
    Korea is also a very patriarchal society, hard & uncaring on unskilled or divorced woman over 25, or the detritus of their old male manual factory workers now replaced by automation.

    So that’s what comes into Australia, the bottom of the barrel – the lower castes & beggars & the unemployable Seoul & Busan mature age females & partners as ‘students for vice, along with shop assistants, greeters, stall vendors & old factory workers.

    Go spend some time with the local Australia Korean community which is sharply divided into this first wave of now 50+ year old Koreans, many non assimilating, most unskilled & on benefits, and then the later castes & waves of the Korean criminal & vice worker & petty criminals that came in on the student & sponsor rackets.

    The Chinese.
    The Chinese that come in are similar.
    They are the Hukou underclass internal illegals and Chinese slum clearance who are aggressively exported to Australia.

    We have 1.46 million* Chinese mainland born communists in Australia onshore.
    See below for detail from ABS & DHA.

    And incredibly, very few are citizens (only 238,000), then 431,000 as PR also sucking up our Medicare & Centrelink & other welfare. The other 700,000 are TR, SCV, TV etc and most living & working illegally here.

    Anyone who has lived in China & knows the Chinese can see these are their social misfits, their old, sick & useless, their petty criminals & vice workers & pimps, their drug & the money laundering mules.

    China has over 100 million of these Hukou internal illegals in their tier 1 cities.

    Read this article if you are not familiar with the Chinese Hukou internal illegal issue & the Chinese migrant export plan.

    (Foreign Policy February 2018)

    They built the ghost cities but still couldn’t get them to move & the CCP feared a revolt.
    So now they ‘export’ this social burden.

    The Chinese government export this detritus in collaboration with the Chinese criminal syndicates who run the trafficking to exploit every foreign country border and visa program.

    They don’t need refrigerated trucks to get these Chinese Hukou illegals into Australia.

    $2k or 10,000 ¥ buys an Australian PR in Guangzhou.
    (Australian Financial Review April 2016)

    Australia is an exploited target.
    We allow anything in.
    We don’t even ask for their Hukou status or social credit score.
    Their identities & papers are routinely faked with the Chinese government working with the Chinese criminal syndicates to fake identities & documents to export the Hukou internal illegal problem.

    The Chinese mainland born communists flooded in on a literal conveyor belt from their Chinese mainland slum to an equivalent Australia Chinese slum.

    90% or 1.3 million are in just Sydney or Melbourne.

    Living in exact replica slums of what you see in China.

    As fake ‘students’ on very long stay pretext courses, up to 9 year stays with COe & visa churn.

    Or as ‘sponsored’, ‘spousal’, ‘family reunion’, ‘investment visa’, ‘regional & rural’, or ‘NZ SCV’ all of it totally broken & corrupted.

    Of they just come in on a long stay tourist visitor to also work illegally in the locally run Chinese run black economy.

    And then we grant them a PR, welfare & Medicare, while they remain Chinese foreign nationals on a sole Chinese passport.

    Even if we “reduced the Chinese or Korean intake”, it’s does not deal with the size & scale here.

    ‘Re-Education’ or migrant ‘skilling’ isn’t going to work.

    They are mature if not old, internal illegals & social rejects, hard coded in peasant slum or rural ideology of collectivist graft, petty crime, vice, theft.

    They have low or no morality and no sense of gratitude or allegiance to Australia.

    They are here to colonise and to steal.
    To live out a life in a foreign colony on foreign taxpayer welfare.

    The only answer is to vet them all & if still on a PR/TR/SCV/TR grant, then deport them while they still have a Korean or Chinese sole nationality & passport.

    That’s the only way to remove this old, sick & useless & criminal class burden that has been dumped into Australia.

    Detail ABS & DHA. Chinese.

    1.46 million Chinese mainland born communists onshore in Australia.
    An entire Hukou underclass, beholden to their criminal trafficking syndicates & China 🇨🇳 First.

    🇨🇳238,000 Chinese mainland born communists as Australian citizens. (ABS).
    First wave organisers, their old, sick & useless and misfits.
    These are the only mainland born communist Chinese that can vote.

    🇨🇳431,000 Chinese mainland born communists as PR but sole Chinese passport. (ABS)
    China First, never assimilating, the base & hub of the Chinese criminal & trafficking. Sucking up our Medicare & Welfare. On Centrelink as they work illegally plus ‘lend’ out the Medicare to the TR & TV for Medicare Tourism. The operators of the drug trade & vice network. Proxies for the $80 billion of Chinese dirty money laundered into Australian established rental property to run as cash in hand migrant bunk share .
    As foreign nationals non citizens, they can’t vote yet.

    That’s 669,000 so far.

    Then add
    🇨🇳572,000 Chinese mainland born communists as TR or via the NZ SCV loophole. (DHA)
    Chinese mainland born communists.
    On sole Chinese passports
    Our future Chinese PR.
    Nearly 300,000 as so called ‘foreign students or partners’ The other 275,000 on a spray of visa rackets such as investment, so called ‘skilled / partner or dependent, regional & rural, spousal, protection or special visa.. Or via the NZ SCZ loophole or other ‘stepping stone countries’.
    Every visa category is exploited.
    They can’t vote either.

    -> 1,241,000 so far.

    🇨🇳At least 200,000 Chinese mainland born communists of the 440,000 Tourist Visitors who enter to live & work illegally (DHA Parliamentary submission – 5% of the 8.8 million Tourist Visitors enter Australia to live & work illegally. Chinese & Indians are the bulk of it. Long stay & repeat stay). Not able to vote.

    -> That’s 1.441 million Chinese mainland born communists inside Australia.

    Only 16% or 238,000 are Australian citizens.

    84% or 1.2 million of the Chinese mainland born communists inside Australia are not citizens.
    They are on PR, TR, SCV & TV.

    A good million of those on vetting will be found to have lied, paid bribes, had false documents, and some form of visa breach.


    The Koreans & Chinese have no intention of assimilation or ever being skilled of contributing to Australia.

    They are Korean & Chinese Nationals, living in a foreign colony, and they will remain so.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      People don’t like to see that type of fact. Imagine how the lovies on The Drum could spin that into the need for more migrant funding from the government

  6. The90kwbeastMEMBER

    “Indeed, a quarter, or 186,000 immigrants, from non-English speaking countries since 2006 haven’t had a job since they ­arrived, and three fifths of those hadn’t looked for one.”

    As user mikemb keeps posting, this is suggestive of two things. First, many older migrants coming here on spousal/family visas as part of this figure who would never look for work and view Australia as a retirement haven. Second, for younger migrants in particular from India and China, it suggests a reliance on unreported lowly paid cash in hand work meaning they don’t show up in these statistics. We are running a high skilled migration program only in name it seems…

  7. Jumping jack flash

    Good, good.
    The system is working perfectly. This can be gauged by how much debt their employers own, and naturally, the number of their IPs.

    I’d say they are being paid too much which leaves them open to dangerous exploitation. In fact, it is highly likely at that irresponsibly large rate of pay they are being exploited! Only by reducing their pay to $0 will the problem of exploitation be removed for once and for all.

    This will also gain the benefit of their employers maximising their debt mountain and fueling the economy with much-needed debt, as they are able to buy yet another IP with their increased income from the skillful reduction of operating costs.

    It is win/win/win for the employee, the employer, and the economy.

  8. John Howards Bowling Coach

    The Chinese never pay tax. They are making a tonne of cash in Australia but they never pay tax it’s in their DNA to cheat the tax system. Hence they all claim negative gearing if they are in the PAYE type jobs but mostly they just avoid it through being in the cash economy such as working in a brothel. The Chinese tax system is onto them back home though. In China all companies pay tax according to turnover as otherwise none of them would ever report a profit. We need to develop a system like that here, all migrant businesses pay tax on turnover to repay the nation that has lifted them from their developing nation living standards. I can’t imagine that fair request would be very welcome though…