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Economy

Sydney has been ranked between the fifteenth and the fifth most expensive city in the world and is the most expensive city in Australia.[252] Of the 15 categories only measured by UBS in 2012, workers receive the seventh highest wage levels of 77 cities in the world.[252] Working residents of Sydney work an average of 1,846 hours per annum with 15 days of leave.[252]

The labour force of Greater Sydney Region in 2016 was 2,272,722 with a participation rate of 61.6%.[253] It was made up of 61.2% full-time workers, 30.9% part-time workers, and 6.0% unemployed individuals.[219][254] The largest reported occupations are professionals, clerical and administrative workers, managers, technicians and trades workers, and community and personal service workers.[219] The largest industries by employment across Greater Sydney are Health Care and Social Assistance with 11.6%, Professional Services with 9.8%, Retail Trade with 9.3%, Construction with 8.2%, Education and Training with 8.0%, Accommodation and Food Services 6.7%, and Financial and Insurance Services with 6.6%.[3] The Professional Services and Financial and Insurance Services industries account for 25.4% of employment within the City of Sydney.[255]

In 2016, 57.6% of working age residents had a total w

The labour force of Greater Sydney Region in 2016 was 2,272,722 with a participation rate of 61.6%.[253] It was made up of 61.2% full-time workers, 30.9% part-time workers, and 6.0% unemployed individuals.[219][254] The largest reported occupations are professionals, clerical and administrative workers, managers, technicians and trades workers, and community and personal service workers.[219] The largest industries by employment across Greater Sydney are Health Care and Social Assistance with 11.6%, Professional Services with 9.8%, Retail Trade with 9.3%, Construction with 8.2%, Education and Training with 8.0%, Accommodation and Food Services 6.7%, and Financial and Insurance Services with 6.6%.[3] The Professional Services and Financial and Insurance Services industries account for 25.4% of employment within the City of Sydney.[255]

In 2016, 57.6% of working age residents had a total weekly income of less than $1,000 and 14.4% had a total weekly income of $1,750 or more.[256] The median weekly income for the same period was $719 for individuals, $1,988 for families, and $1,750 for household.[257]

Unemployment in the City of Sydney averaged 4.6% for the decade to 2013, much lower than the current rate of unemployment in Western Sydney of 7.3%.[27][258] Western Sydney continues to struggle to create jobs to meet its population growth despite the development of commercial centres like Parramatta. Each day about 200,000 commuters travel from Western Sydney to the CBD and suburbs in the east and north of the city.[258]

Home ownership in Sydney was less common than renting prior to the Second World War but this trend has since reversed.[220] Median house prices have increased by an average of 8.6% per annum since 1970.[259][260] The median house price in Sydney in March 2014 was $630,000.[261] The primary cause for rising prices is the increasing cost of land and scarcity[262] which made up 32% of house prices in 1977 compared to 60% in 2002.[220] 31.6% of dwellings in Sydney are rented, 30.4% are owned outright and 34.8% are owned with a mortgage.[219] 11.8% of mortgagees in 2011 had monthly loan repayments of less than $1,000 and 82.9% had monthly repayments of $1,000 or more.[3] 44.9% of renters for the same period had weekly rent of less than $350 whilst 51.7% had weekly rent of $350 or more. The median weekly rent in Sydney is $450.[3]

Macquarie gave a charter in 1817 to form the first bank in Australia, the Bank of New South Wales.[264] New private banks opened throughout the 1800s but the financial system was unstable. Bank collapses were a frequent occurrence and a crisis point was reached in 1893 when 12 banks failed.[264]

The Bank of New South Wales exists to this day as Westpac.[265] The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was formed in Sydney in 1911 and began to issue notes backed by the resources of the nation. It was replaced in this role in 1959 by the Reserve Bank of Australia which is also based in Sydney.[264] The Australian Securities Exchange began operating in 1987 and with a market capitalisation of $1.6 trillion is now one of the ten largest exchanges in the world.[266]

The Financial and Insurance Services industry now constitutes 43% of the economic product of the City of Sydney.[26] Sydney makes up half of Australia's finance sector and has been promoted by consecutive Commonwealth Governments as Asia Pacific's leading financial centre.[24][25] Structured finance was pioneered in Sydney and the city is a leading hub for asset management firms.[267] In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Sydney was ranked as having the eighth most competitive financial cen

The Bank of New South Wales exists to this day as Westpac.[265] The Commonwealth Bank of Australia was formed in Sydney in 1911 and began to issue notes backed by the resources of the nation. It was replaced in this role in 1959 by the Reserve Bank of Australia which is also based in Sydney.[264] The Australian Securities Exchange began operating in 1987 and with a market capitalisation of $1.6 trillion is now one of the ten largest exchanges in the world.[266]

The Financial and Insurance Services industry now constitutes 43% of the economic product of the City of Sydney.[26] Sydney makes up half of Australia's finance sector and has been promoted by consecutive Commonwealth Governments as Asia Pacific's leading financial centre.[24][25] Structured finance was pioneered in Sydney and the city is a leading hub for asset management firms.[267] In the 2017 Global Financial Centres Index, Sydney was ranked as having the eighth most competitive financial centre in the world.[268]

In 1985 the Federal Government granted 16 banking licences to foreign banks and now 40 of the 43 foreign banks operating in Australia are based in Sydney, including the People's Bank of China, Bank of America, Citigroup, UBS, Mizuho Bank, Bank of China, Banco Santander, Credit Suisse, State Street, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Royal Bank of Canada, Société Générale, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sumitomo Mitsui, ING Group, BNP Paribas, and Investec.[26][264][269][270]

Sydney has been a manufacturing city since the protectionist policies of the 1920s. By 1961 the industry accounted for 39% of all employment and by 1970 over 30% of all Australian manufacturing jobs were in Sydney.[271] Its status has declined in more recent decades, making up 12.6% of employment in 2001 and 8.5% in 2011.[3][271] Between 1970 and 1985 there was a loss of 180,000 manufacturing jobs.[271] Despite this, Sydney still overtook Melbourne as the largest manufacturing centre in Australia in the 2010s.[272] Its manufacturing output of $21.7 billion in 2013 was greater than that of Melbourne with $18.9 billion.[273] Observers have noted Sydney's focus on the domestic market and high-tech manufacturing as reasons for its resilience against the high Australian dollar of the early 2010s.[273] The Smithfield-Wetherill Park Industrial Estate in Western Sydney is the largest industrial estate in the Southern Hemisphere and is the centre of manufacturing and distribution in the region.[274]

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