Coming through the airport in Perth on my way to Sydney I saw this advert hanging on the wall. From what I’ve been told some of these mining jobs pay $80,000, $90,000 and even some (probably the dangerous jobs) pay over $100,000. Australia is one of the few countries that missed the global recession that followed the 2008 stock market crash and much of Australia’s economy is driven by the exploitation of its natural resources. The mining industry is booming and they are hiring.
I am not sure the particulars of a foreigner coming to Australia to work in the mines – I believe that you can only get a work permit for employment in Australia if there is a job open that can’t be filled by an Australian. If you have some mining experience, there might be a high paying job for you in Western Australia.
I talked with quite a few travelers who came over on work visas, worked for 3 or 4 months and used their earnings to travel around for a year. I also met some who had worked for a year and then traveled for a few months before taking their excess earnings home. If you stay longer than a year, you can “refresh” your work visa by taking a “hard” job that they have trouble filling. Some of these jobs include agricultural work, cattle work, fruit picking and janitorial work. I was quite surprised when some college students from Ireland told me that they earned $4,000 per month picking fruit. They worked for 3 months and then traveled for the rest of the year on their earnings. I guess this is in line with what I’d been told by others: the minimum wage in Australia is about $20 per hour.
We often hear that Latino labor is needed in America because no one will pick fruit (at least no white, black or Asian people will pick fruit). But I wonder if we paid $4,000 per month to pick strawberries, I bet that you would have an abundance of workers. I think that many businesses in America benefit from really cheap labor and maybe if we raised the labor costs a little, we wouldn’t have such a big immigration problem and we would have a lot fewer unemployed people.
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