High Unemployment and Fruit Picking

With unemployment reaching 10% plus and more than 2 million Australians out of work, there seems to be plenty of jobs in fruit picking and at the abattoirs. With our immigration significantly reduced and lots of backpackers leaving australia. We have jobs available, have low entry requirements and low levels of training.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-09-07/backpack-in-you...

Do we need to increase the pay of these 'unwanted' jobs? We might face significant price rises of fruit and vegetables if they are left to rot due to a shortage of pickers.

Poll Options

  • 94
    Fruit picking or abattoir work & contribute to Australia GDP
  • 217
    Collect job seeker or job keeper and chill at home

Comments

  • these fruit picking jobs are not worth the money, you need to reach a target.

    • is it like a commission structure
      eg. each kg of fruit you pick, you get 50cents?

      • The more bins you pick or boxes you pack or vines you prune per hour, the higher the hourly rate works out. The more practice you get, the faster you get, the more you earn. On your first days it could very well be less than $10 a hour.

        https://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/how-much-do...

        • if the jobs aren't worth the money and there are no backpackers around, does that mean fruit farmers have to increase the rate of pay or leave the fruit to rot?

          • +37 votes

            @nightqueen: It's worth the money.

            It's just not worth the difference between do-nothing money and wage money.

            • @tshow: At least the wage money is contributing to GDP and to Australian society. Gives people more meaning and purpose to their life than Netflix bludge at home on welfare.

              • +19 votes

                @nightqueen: Yes but it is just asinine to give out free money to the point people aren't willing to do unskilled labour for their keep and then having to increase the wages to get them to do said labour.

                Where does it end?

                With increased cost of wages, operational cost increases. If pickers get say $40/hr, I bet some of the workers in these orchards are getting paid less and will want a raise. Then the price of food goes up.

                When the price of food goes up, the cost of living goes up. By the time the price gets adjusted across all industries, the bludgers will want a dole increase. Then we're back right where we are now.

                Full circle.

                • @tshow: Inflation rates are quite low. Higher food prices could get our inflation up again

                • +6 votes

                  @tshow: makes you wonder though - if pickers arent being paid much and fruit is already expensive; who in the supply chain is making all the money?

                  • @dexx: First there's the outlay to start an orchard. It takes years for trees to reach fruiting maturity. During this time, there is the expense of fertilizers, maintenance, rates, loan interest, water rights, insurance, and the weather to contend with. Then there is PBR royalties, cost of shipping, sorting, storage, shipping again, spoilage, marketing and then finally retailing.

                    … back to the pickers. Their cost is fairly high up in the supply chain sequence. Costs are compounded as it goes through the supply chain. A $1 distributor increase may mean $1.50 price increase to consumer.

                    A $1 increase at time of picking may mean $5 price increase to consumer.

                    • @tshow: I never quite get the argument that a small increase in the price of the fruit at the time of pickings should lead to large increase to the consumer (sounds like voodoo economics).

                      Say the price to acquire the fruit from the farmer increases from say $1 to $1.50 per unit as a result of the farmer paying the minimum wage. Should all other costs associated with transport, storage, retail etc…. remain the same as they are calculated on price to transport / store X units of the fruit, then shouldn't the final price be only the 50 cent increase with additional small margin to cover fruit that spoils before it goes off???

                      As a side note I seem to recall (I don't have a reference but could probably google it) that the supermarket margin on fresh fruit increased from 80% to 300% since 2000 - maybe there should be more focus on this.

                      • @iamnewtothis:

                        I never quite get the argument that a small increase in the price of the fruit at the time of pickings should lead to large increase to the consumer

                        It is not an argument. It is the outcome.

                        The reason why a small cost early in the supply chain has a bigger effect than later in the supply chain is because it is incurred regardless of success or failure down the track.

                        The fruit is picked. It gets shipped the fruit to the sorters and the sorters have to do the QC. If the cost of picking goes up, then even the fruit that gets thrown out has incurred cost. If the cost increase is after the sorting and perhaps at the level of storage, then the fruit that gets discarded wouldn't be affected by the cost increase.

                        • @tshow: Yes I agree with what your saying and totally get rationale regarding a greater increase in cost from QC (which is in addition to fruit that spoils before it is sold), however I don't agree with the magnitude that your talking about - i.e. increase in cost from $1 to $5 as for this to be the case the acceptance rates would have to be exceptionally low with no alternative market.

                          • @iamnewtothis: It was an example.

                          • @iamnewtothis: Everyone down the chain also has maintain their revenue/profit margin.

                            Everyone down the chain doesnt have an extra 50-500% cash flow

                            If farmer for product A due to drought increases from $1 to $2, and also supply on 500 instead of 1000

                            Chain 2, who previously bought $1000 for $1000, can only now buy 500 for the same price
                            If he previously sold that 1000 for $2 to the chain 3, thereby receiving $2000
                            He would now need to sell to Chain 3 product A for $4*500 to maintain that $2000 revenue

                            Chain 3 does the same and doubles price to $8, previously this would have been $4

                            In the above example an increase in cost due to limited supplies, has resulted in a price inscreas of double all along the chains, but in absolute value, the farmer has only increase prices by $1, but the end cost has increased by $4

                            • @Baghern: Yes totally get the example here, however not sure how much it applies to fruit picking (assuming contracts with a supermarket) as the picking, sorting, grading, boxing etc.. borne by the farmer and supermarket wears costs associated with transport, distribution, retail etc… where transport/storage/distribution costs are not based on the price of the product but on volume (excluding costs for wastage of product not sold).

                              Simply - the costs associated with distribution/storage etc… is the same whether you're transporting wagyu beef or burger mince (or using fruit say cheap lemons verse high price limes).

                              I note costs from QC were previously mentioned, however QC is done on the farmer side with supermarket doing checks to ensure its all good, that is the farmer will pack fruit according to size/grade etc….. and supply that to the supermarket. If the wrong grade is supplied then the farmer aint get paid and / or gets a penalty.

                    • @tshow: Picking costs are a tiny fraction of most fruit/vegetables.

                      Apples for example are about $30 for half a ton of apples - even at bad wholesale prices that's $30 for $500 worth of apples

                • @tshow: Fruit growers have been allowed to manipulate the local market by importing foreign labor.

                  In true supply/demand, they would need to pay enough to attract people willing to work. Just look at mining. Why can they attract workers in remote locations?

                  Instead, farmers cry ‘we cant get workers’. A current affair does a dole bludger story. Government allows importing of cheap foreign labour. The circle is that it undercuts our local employment market.

                  Where does it end? With our employment standards eroded so that we mirror the wages in the US of A.

                  • @Vote for Pedro:

                    In true supply/demand, they would need to pay enough to attract people willing to work. Just look at mining.

                    You won't hear me disagreeing with this. Bear in mind that when you advocate for true supply and demand, if you are consistent, you would also advocate against the dole.

                    (Demand for employment decreases because of the dole.)

                    farmers cry ‘we cant get workers’

                    That's because they didn't invent the fruit picker visa (and other associated forms of entry). They did however start their business and sow their seeds long before the government pulled the plug on their workforce.

                    Now comes the double edge sword. The farmers now have the rug pulled out from under them, they are seeking local employment but they have to contend with the government. This is the same government that has abruptly cut off their workforce, paying their new potential workforce for not working.

                    Imagine you are a trader. The government blocks your importers so now you have to buy your goods from a local distributor except the distributor is also a retailer and can sell the goods directly cheaper than you can afford to sell the same goods.

                    Except it is worse for the farmers because it is the tax revenue collected from these farmers that are paying for the welfare that is making it hard for them to find workers. The government is literally making them pay for their competition.

                    • @tshow: Bloody Liberal/Nationals, always against the true blue salt of the earth farmers :P

                      Seems the miners have no trouble getting workers. Wonder why

                      • @Vote for Pedro: Whoa whoa whoa, before you say that the current government and/or right leaning individuals are blindly in support of farmers, don't forget, we were against drought relief.

                        Why the different tune?

                        Because government policy is artificial and we should be able to expect that policy won't get turned on us. It's almost like a contract. We are operating based on an agreement.

                        The weather OTOH, that's a risk inherent to the industry. It is simply poor risk management to not account for failed crops and drought.

                        Seems the miners have no trouble getting workers. Wonder why

                        Policy hasn't changed on them and because it has been consistent, the mining industry knows how to price their goods. They can enter into contracts with the appropriate price structure to be able to afford the miner's pay.

                        The farmers may have entered into contract or have to contend with a market that is used to a certain price. Now they are being told that the cost to operate needs to be much higher without notice and without fair opportunity to entice workers.

                        • @tshow: Right wing against drought relief? Really? Come off it. They were pushing each other out of the way to get help to farmers. Those poor farmers.

                          But I agree weather is part of the business of farming so support shouldn’t be given.

                          Miners have no trouble because they pay well.

                          • @Vote for Pedro:

                            Right wing against drought relief? Really? Come off it. They were pushing each other out of the way to get help to farmers. Those poor farmers.

                            ??? That's… simply false. We even had OzBargain debates that called out right wingers "cruel" for not hearing the plight of the farmers. Most recently, it was when Cole's or Woolies decided to put a 10c levy on their milk.

                            You were right leaning in this post but as you can see, right wingers were deadly against subsidy.

                            • @tshow: There is nuance in my view. My dislike for the attitudes of farmers is based on many things. Mostly hypocrisy.

                              I would have no issues supporting farmers but they are the first to support attacks on other workers for the sake of their own self interest.

                              • @Vote for Pedro: They are not attacking other workers though.

                                They are attacking the policy which is discouraging people from first becoming workers.

                                They're not workers if they aren't working.

                                • @tshow: I’m talking about the farmers federation strike breakers

                                  • @Vote for Pedro: Any particular incident you are referring to?

                                    If it is just in general, there's nothing wrong with an industry is wanting to break a strike. the opposite of breaking a strike is to give in.

                                    • @tshow: That is why I don’t like farmers. They cry for socialism when it suits them but then want to be capitalists when others need help.

                                      It probably comes as no surprise I believe in a balanced society where we help lift people to higher standards of life.

                                      • @Vote for Pedro:

                                        They cry for socialism when it suits them

                                        Amen.

                                        That's why I don't like socialism. People only cry for it when they stand to benefit from it.

                                        where we help lift people to higher standards of life.

                                        I can appreciate that. Despite what leftist think, that's what I would like except I believe that it is most realistically and coincidentally most ethical to approach it with equal opportunity, not equal outcomes (equity).

                    • @tshow: Despite a large number of unemployed youth in your own country, if the country has to rely on foreign workforce (and even a special category of visa) for farm jobs, then there's definitely something wrong in the system at multiple levels.

                • @tshow: I don't see why they should be paid at all. What right do they have not wanting to live below the poverty line?

              • @nightqueen: Welfare money is being pumped back into Australian society. Poor people/ welfare recipients are less likely to to save the money and more likely to spend it, thus stimulating the economy.

          • @nightqueen: Let's pick this particular question apart. First, we should assume farmers have been able to keep labour costs low by employing overseas laborers. This is a common reason to allow for immigration in the first place and makes sense otherwise they would just employ locally. Second, without this cheap supply of labour they now need to pay local wage rates to local labourers. This is going to be more expensive.

            This results in a marginal increase in labour costs. Assuming labour is the only main change to variable costs for fruit companies here, so long as this increase in labour costs is less than the income derived from the labour, the companies should hire local labour at the prevailing rates. Else, they are losing money on every hour worked and should let the fruit rot.

            In the short run, for some companies it will make sense to hire, for others to rot. Those that hire should get hire prices for their fruit given the decline in supply.

            Simple example, I pay Tony back-packer $5 per box of fruit picked. I get $10 when I sell it. This is good for me but not possible this year.
            I pay Sam local $12 per box of fruit picked. I get $11 when I sell it. I should close in the short term.
            It gets trickier if say Bob local gets paid $9 per box of fruit picked, I get $10 when I sell it, but my fixed costs worked out to say $2 per box picked. Here I am losing money but should stay open.

            Ideally, firms should be willing to increase wage rates so long as it is worth their while doing so. Or they could cry to the government for a subsidy…

            (Yes, if you are wondering, I do live in Victoria…..)

            • @Shleepy: farmers don't use overseas workers because of low pay, they use them because most locals are too lazy to do the work. The pay is actually really good. But you are paid for performance, so working hard every day is the only way to succeed, if you turn up from 9 -5, lots of breaks, and a relaxing slow day with lots of smoko's you are better off on welfare (at least at the moment). If you work hard you will earn 2-3k per week at the moment.

              • @gromit: Unfortunately I think our arguments are the same. By your argument, farmers hire overseas workers because they are much more productive, and thus they are worth the trouble of hiring for the farmer, and worth the trouble of getting hired for the worker. Which is to say, given the difficulty of the work and the current pay rates, it does not make sense for a local worker to take the job. Thus, farmers need to pay more for less productive workers, or risk having no one pick their fruit (which might be less expensive anyway).

                Sadly, maybe the average Australian is too squishy in the belly and too soft and supple in the fingers to handle this type of work?

                • @Shleepy: No that isn't right at all. Farmers are happy to hire either, productive or unproductive isn't overly relevant as you are paid by how productive you are. They don't care whether it is 2 unproductive or 1 productive person. the problem is locals don't apply or give up after a week or so as they don't generally like hard work. farmers don't pay more for unproductive workers, unproductive workers get paid less.

                  As the weeks of a season go by the unproductive ones usually give up as they aren't getting paid enough to justify continued working. They hire overseas workers as they have no other choice.

                  • @gromit: I agree in principle. My experience is that some farmers do not want to deal with unproductive labour. There are several reasons why this might be the case of course… The point I guess is that if you are paid on your productivity and local labour is less productive, then you have to pay them more per unit of output to get them to work. Thus, this is an issue since you can't discriminate against temporary workers by paying them less per unit just because they are more productive! So, you have to raise the income for everyone which is likely to be unsustainable for many farms.

                    • @Shleepy: You are paid on output, the pay rates are generally pretty good, it is completely up to you whether you are badly or well paid. Some of the best pickers are not overseas workers either, they are people that follow the picking season from region to region. if you are thinning trees you are paid per tree, if you are picking you are generally paid per bucket. So it doesn't make much difference, though obviously it is nicer to deal with less people. The reality though is in most areas they are struggling for enough people each season and they will take whoever they can get regardless of where they are from and how good they are. Seasoned workers work fast and make lots of money, slow workers work slow and make little money but don't really cost them much extra apart from the inconvenience of a few forms to fill in etc on admin side for a worker that probably won't last.

                      • @gromit: Perhaps this is the problem then. If you are paid on output and the average new worker is insufficiently productive to make it worth their while sticking around, then there will always be a chronic labour shortage in fruit picking which will require overseas labour.

                        You can pay more, but that increases costs for all your workers which increases the cost of fruit which consumers (and supermarkets) naturally hate. Thus, there is no easy solution in the current climate.

                        • @Shleepy: anyone new is going to be relatively unproductive, but they usually only "need" to be unproductive for a relatively short time. It doesn't take long to get quite efficient, but the work is always going to be physical and can be quite demanding. Most give up not because of pay (at least from what I used to see), they gave up because it was too demanding for them to work hard all day every day, there aren't many relaxing days (though I remember it was awesome when you got given rows of young trees to thin, easy relaxing work with no ladder and great pay)

                          • @gromit: It's a great point right? People will acclimate and begin earning a good wage if they manage to stick it out. Maybe that goes to the fortitude of many new hirers, or a mismatch in expectations…

                            • @Shleepy: I actually think a lot of people turn up thinking it will be easy work and good money and don't realise that it is only good money when combined with dedication and hard work, it can be a shock. I still remember my first ever week, I must admit I almost gave up as well. But quickly learned, don't rent accommodation (camp), avoid trips to town and just relax in evenings and you soon get into a good rhythm with good pay and low costs (and yes I did this while having to pay rent back in the town I actually lived about 200km away).

                          • @gromit: So why do the pay rates not compete with other physical work? Construction? Labourers? Gardeners? Cleaners? Lot’s of locals doing those physical jobs.

                            Your argument about laziness doesn’t stack up.

                • @Shleepy: Two things will fix the issue: 1) Encourage ALL unemployed people (govt already knows who they are) in the nearby areas to go and work in farms. 2) Cut the working holiday visa which various businesses and visa holders themselves have been exploiting for years, affecting the employment of the locals indirectly or directly.

              • @gromit: 2-3k per week? really?

              • @gromit: Pfft, $2-3k. Sure mate.

                I've worked on apples, cherries, oranges, blueberries, pears, strawberries, vineyards etc etc etc all around the country.

                I've had $2k weeks sure, I've hit $3k probably once ever during the best part of cherry season. But I've also had tons of $400 weeks. And outside cherries (cherries are the only crop that is actually paid decently), the only high earnings on other things required 10-12 hour days, nonstop. That's what it takes to make $2k a week on apples (forget making $2k on oranges, even breaking $1k is a miracle), doing very extremely demanding work. You don't take breaks, you don't stop. Ever. My lunch usually were about 10 minutes. No smoko, just some coffee/chocolate. No other field out there requires that sort of effort, working 7 days a week to make $2000.

                The truth is, the average just isn't that good when you consider the logistics of it all. The amount of travel, the uncertainty in how the season is going, how the weather is going to be, how the fruit/trees are, whether you end up working for an absolutely garbage farm.

                There's a reason why locals don't do it generally. Its really bad.

            • @Shleepy: you are neglecting a fact in your example, which is price increase due to perceived shortage. It gets tricky indeed.

            • @Shleepy: bob the local actually lives in a city 300km away.

              assuming bob has a lease on a place in the city his calculation is:
              8 weeks wages - cost for onsite accommodation - travel cost >= 8 weeks dole

              for the backpacker short term accommodation and travel is part of their holiday expense anyhow
              8 weeks wages + extended visa >= barista wages in city

              and that visa extension is how the LNP bribes them so as to look after the farmers vote.

        • Yes and no. It really depends what fruit you're picking and which farm you work for. I've had friends on performance based pay, and some who just get a daily wage.
          It can be very lucrative.

        • Gee imagine being paid for actually being productive….now thats a revelation!

        • I made $20 for 10 backbreaking hours on my first and only day harvesting asparagus in Jugiong, NSW. It wasn’t enough to cover the daily accomodation and board the employer charged so I was moved into packing, which certainly paid more, but was still under $10 an hour.

          I also tried picking Cherries, Apples and Oranges over a couple of seasons but only managed to make a fair wage at two of the Cherry farms. By my second season I was getting around $450-550 for six long days a week. That being said, with experience, some pickers made $600-700.

          This was back in Howard’s last term as PM.

          Despite the money being bad, I’d recommend it if you’re in your twenties and can find a few good friends to work with you. Make sure to research the farms and only go work at the reputable and well organised places, unless you know how to handle an old drunk farmer trying to get into your tent at 2am.

          You will certainly learn the value of a dollar.

          • @toasty: Cherries are the only crop that is competitive paid. Well done hitting $500 a day on your second season though, that's very good going - I think my best ever day was only about $550. Those guys hitting $700 are usually French Canadians, and they live and breathe cherry picking, they are literal machines haha

      • I read the article below that a fruit picker can make 3800 per week. Based on your comment that's 7,600 Kgs of fruit that needs to be picked per week.

        https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/queensland-fruit-farmer...

        I Doubt its 50c per KG, this would almost seem slave labor like!

        • Ask yourself… How much does fruit cost? I can get apples for 2 dollars a kilo near my house. Those apples need to be grown by the farmer, picked, transported and then sold for a profit by the fruit store… But yeah I think the pickers probably make about 5 dollars per kilo…

          • @Mr Haj: $2/kilo apples - not sure where you find those. I rarely see any apples for less than $4 - 4.50/kilo irrespective of the store or apple variety.

        • And how is earning $3800 per week slave labour? You must be on a good wicket.

        • You forgot to apply the newscorp “grain of salt” filter. $3800 is the absolute highest weekly wage they could possibly cherry pick from all data available (based on a 60 hour week no less).
          What you actually need to do is take either the average or the median fruit picker salary (pro rated back to 38hrs), then minus off the exorbitant rent the farmer charges to get an idea of why no one wants to do it unless their visa is contingent on it

        • No one is making 3800 a week.

        • Its a nonsensical cherry picked statistic.

          "Can" is a meaningless thing to say when maybe that particular god tier picker made that figure once that year, after probably doing it for 10 years. Peak earnings mean nothing. Averages are all that matters.

          Oh god, it was about Strawberries too hahahahahahah.

          What a laugh. Strawberries are a god damn nightmare to pick, the average person going out there to do strawberries will not hit minimum wage, even after doing it for weeks.

        • The example was an extreme example, working over 60hours a week

          I think somewhere they said a hard working good worker(experienced) could make $2 a week

    • +19 votes

      I have to politely disagree. When I did a couple of seasons of apple thinning and apple picking I was clearing almost $2k a week.

      • My parents live in fruit growing region and there is definitely seasoned pickers who can do it. Pickers who can pick good quantity are in demand too.

        The first 6 - 8 weeks is the hardest for new people because they over compensate and use brute strength for things simple as moving ladders for picking.

        Like any skill it takes time to learn it.

      • 2k a week is killer pay for physical outdoors Work

        • Yeah, I actually really miss it sometimes. No stress, physical exercise, out in the sun, good pay (if you do piece work).

          • @nereus: That's going to be a decent carrot for people when the job keeper and job seeker payments get cut.

          • @nereus: I don't miss it, it was good pay (though seasonal), but I didn't enjoy the camping part (you could rent a backpackers or caravan but camping was most profitable). I have a really good job that is completely unaffected by Covid, but I would go back to fruit thinning and picking in a heartbeat if I was unemployed (apples, nectarines, peaches etc…. not backbreaking asparagus or strawberries)

        • 2k for 48 weeks is $92k gross (48 weeks because 4 weeks annual leave and 2 weeks of sick leave).

          Sure beats washing dishes in a kitchen or being a wait staff at a restaurant for $10 an hour. Some people have problems working out reward vs benefit.

          Apologies you don't get to hang around the bottom of the tree checking out your Instagram and getting paid for the down time.

          • @netjock: 92k gross per year for physical outdoors Work is quite good pay without needing teritary University education. Greater return than job keeper at home and greater contribution to society.

            • @nightqueen: Its also absolute certified bullshit.

              I've worked full time in seasonal work around the country.

              The idea that I ever hit 92k even if i SOMEHOW managed to line it up so you have constant work (its basically impossible, theres always gaps) is just so god damn laughable.

              Holy moly, all these people talking about stuff they have never done. I've done 80 hour weeks on apples. I've worked on vineyards when its so (profanity) cold everything is covered in ice, I've worked on vineyards while its 5 degrees and basically sleet. I've worked in 46 degree weather on oranges, with trees covered with thorns and dust (often making below minimum wages, oranges are the absolute worst thing to pick ugh)

              All this narrative that somehow its a great job and people don't do it because they are lazy is just straight up lies.

          • @netjock: As seasons would last 6-8 weeks of the year,you would have to factor in the costs to travel to different regions for different harvests….so it's not as simple as multiplying the weekly pay by the number of work weeks in a year.

            • @Oneguyinmelb: Yes and good luck getting annual/sick leave.

              • @cashews: That is why 48 weeks x $2k (4 weeks of annual leave).

                I don't know how many sickies you take but majority of workforce doesn't take their 10 days a year.

            • @Oneguyinmelb:

              As seasons would last 6-8 weeks

              But how do you explain fresh fruit and vegetables all year? After one type of fruit & veg is done you move onto another.

              Don't tell me there is some mythical cool room that gets packed with a country's worth of fruit and vegetables for the year in 6 - 8 weeks?

              • @netjock:

                Don't tell me there is some mythical cool room

                There is a bit of that. But there are also more growers all over the country that grow in a) glasshouses and b) out of cycle with seasons in other states. ie. Tasmania are starting to do Avocado orchards which will fruit later in the season when the other states are done which keeps fresh avo's rolling into the supermarkets and also gets the farmer a great price.

          • @netjock: Except that you shouldn’t gross it up because you don’t get a constant 48 weeks of work. Plus you have accommodation and other costs (unless you already happen to be living on a farm).

            Going by your logic, a plumber that charges $150 for a half hour drain unclogging is on a grossed up salary of $864000 ($300/hr x 60hr newscorp work week x 48weeks)

            • @AndrewCh:

              Except that you shouldn’t gross it up because you don’t get a constant 48 weeks of work.

              Compared to someone with 48 weeks of constant work you would to compare Apples with Apples.

              I worked as a contractor on rolling 3 month contracts, in 8 years I only had 1 month without work while working for 7 companies because I went travelling for a month and then looked for work when I came back.

              Plus you have accommodation and other costs (unless you already happen to be living on a farm).

              Who gets accommodation for free? Do you quote your salary less accommodation? Cost of accommodation is a personal decision and should never be factored. Living in regional areas is cheaper than metro therefore should $92k gross in regional be worth a lot more than metro?

              Going by your logic, a plumber that charges $150 for a half hour drain unclogging is on a grossed up salary of $864000 ($300/hr x 60hr newscorp work week x 48weeks)

              It would be if he went onsite and he constantly unclogged endless drains for 12 hours a day.

              When you go to a farm would you pick one tree for 30mins and then drive to another farm and pick a different tree? Pickers are usually there for days picking the same hectares unless they choose to quit. You know time travel to work are never considered. People talk about travel time a lot here. Problem seems to be nobody gets paid for travel time. In country town it is possible to travel 20kms in about 20 minutes, in capital cities peak hour expect 45 mins to 1hr.

              Someone on $200k travelling for 2hrs a day would be same as someone on $100k travelling for 4hrs if you really want to play that game. Wish people would stop trying to account for something which nobody is compensated and a personal choice.

              People with zero experience in both finance (accountant here and I manage employee budgets for the whole department 500+ people) and my parents have a 10 hectare fruit orchard that supplies a big name cannery so I might know a few things.

              • @netjock:

                Compared to someone with 48 weeks of constant work you would to compare Apples with Apples.

                Every single poster in this thread has started the work is not constant

                I worked as a contractor on rolling 3 month contracts, in 8 years I only had 1 month without work while working for 7 companies

                Good for you. Were you a contractor in fruit picking? Or is your example completely unrelated to this thread?

                Who gets accommodation for free? Do you quote your salary less accommodation?

                I don't need to move house to attain my salary. The suggestion/question from OP would require a relocation for most people. Hence the need to include this additional cost. I do mention it doesn't count if you already live on a farm. Most of us don't.

                • @AndrewCh:

                  Every single poster in this thread has started the work is not constant

                  Every = 100%. Wisdom of the crowds, how many of these who said it actually does it full time. Nobody can give a proper rate of work like they only work 30 weeks a year etc. Even at 26 weeks a year at 2k is $50k vs JobSeeker at $14k (normal rate) even if you do $300 per fortnight on the side you get another $7k which makes it $21k.

                  Good for you. Were you a contractor in fruit picking? Or is your example completely unrelated to this thread?

                  So you are basically saying that other industries and professions people don't try and just have jobs land on their laps. You think having 7 jobs in 8 years I stuttered like I was a slow learner at interviews, acted anti social at work and be on my phone all day to get 3 month extensions to my contract?

                  We know for a fact even with the best degree, best upbringing, jobs don't just deliver itself to your lap on the lounge. You still need to go to the door and sign for the package with DHL / UPS / Aussie Post.

                  I don't need to move house to attain my salary. The suggestion/question from OP would require a relocation for most people. Hence the need to include this additional cost. I do mention it doesn't count if you already live on a farm. Most of us don't.

                  You are one of the exceptional ones who have lived in the house they were born? Would you move your house if your salary was double? 2k per week is double JobSeeker. If you need to move 4 times a year (following the seasons) for $80k or do you want to be on $14.3k ($550 per fortnight).

                  I'd be happy go to Queensland during the southern winter to pick fruit and make my way back down to Victoria by the southern summer for $80k vs $14.3k on JobSeeker. Even for $60k it is a good deal.

          • @netjock: Got to live that metro lifestyle with music festivals and fancy events though.

      • Where can we find such jobs?

      • I spent about 4 years doing seasonal weak.

        The effort required to hit $2000 on apple picking is insane. That's $300 a day, 10 bins. The average bin rate for normal pickers was about 5-6 (the average competent backpacker). I could hit 10 bins on the better varieties, if I worked 10-12 hours - without breaks, talking 10 minute lunches and all that. But those varieties often don't last long.

        And there's no way you made $2k a week thinning, I've done plenty of that and I never hit $2k even working for some really great farms that basically let me set the price per tree.

    • Bull. The pay is actually really good, and rates have gone up as farmers are desperate. Did a few seasons myself and u can easily pull a couple of grand a week, even more now. What people don't like is it is actually hard work and u only get paid by what you do.

      • How can I apply for such a job? (I'm in SE Vic.) I'm absolutely hating being stuck at a desk 10-12 hours a day in my current role and would love to work outdoors instead.

        • Literally go to the Seek.com site and search for fruit pickers (or similar). There were some in Narre Warren from memory.

        • Not familiar with your area, generally Seek etc list them and there is usually some dedicated websites for each area as well as they are desperately looking for people. For me I was a little more fortunate as I know some of the farmers in my area so I used to just call them directly.

      • Perhaps our metropolitan society is forgetting what manual labour is?

      • Bull.

        I've worked on basically major crop baring like bananas/mangoes around the country, for about 4-5 years.

        The average picker does not make two grand a week. The average picker barely hits minimum wage.

        No picker "easily" pulls 2k a week, especially not someone that hasn't been doing it for years.

        $2k a week is $300 a day. That's 10 bins of apples. To pick that, you have to hit under an hour per bin. No average picker can do that. The best I've ever done is 15 bins on really big fruit on small trees. A $2k week is at the PEAK of the season, on the best of the varieties. As someone that has done way too many apple season.

        • People keep saying 2k/wk, 3k/wk, etc. But how does it convert to hourly rate? Let’s say you are a seasoned high performed worker, how much in average you can get in one hour by working non stop?
          Now compare it with how much the net profit the farmer gets..

  • inb4 too smart to work

  • +10 votes

    Either the pay of these jobs is too little - or the benefits paid for being out of work are too much.

    I will leave this as a statement of fact of the two options….