The latest Department of Immigration statistics have revealed a 25 percent decrease in the number of 457 visas granted in FY2013. In particular, the number of 457 visas granted in the mining and construction sectors declined by 42 percent and 40 percent respectively, but 69 percent of 457 visa recipients took up work as managers and professionals. The redistribution of 457 visas across the economy suggests a declining growth in the mining states, and the geographic distribution of those visas supports this. 

Seventeen percent of all 457 visa recipients took up work in Western Australia, but 62 percent commenced employment in New South Wales and Victoria. As to the nations from which 457 visa holders come, 23 percent arrived from India, 18 percent from the United Kingdom and 6.5 percent from China. The redistribution of 457 visas may reflect a growth in the professional services distributed across the east coast of Australia and a commensurate decline in mining and construction works taking place in Western Australia and Queensland.

The same statistics have revealed that the mining sector still pays the highest base salary, $138,700, to its 457 workers. The financial services sector follows, paying $117,000 and the utilities sector pays $116,100 as its average base rate. Western Australia, however, is no longer paying the highest rates. That honour belongs to New South Wales, followed by the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria. Employers should be aware that the Federal Government may, in light of these statistics, consider decreasing the number of 457 visas in the coming financial year.

Andrew Berriman