Greater Melbourne
City Portrait

Powered by Regen Melbourne

Ecological CeilingSocial FoundationThe safe and just space for Greater Melbourne •


The Melbourne Doughnut

Explore how well Melbourne is tracking as a place that supports people and planet to thrive.

Dimension profile

Income & Work


Income and work are deeply tied to our ability to meet basic needs and live meaningful lives. Purposeful work supports us to reach our potential, and sufficient income provides security that in turn enables deeper participation in society. Melbourne’s spatial patterns constrain equitable access to quality employment, however, and current policies and market trends often leave Melburnians, including critical workers, with insufficient income to maintain their personal wellbeing.

Principles for Income & Work in a regenerative Melbourne

Income and work in a regenerative Melbourne must be:

  • Designed to ensure that workers have agency and benefit from the value generated by their time and labour
  • Equitable, providing opportunities for people to contribute to society based on their capabilities
  • Considered within the spatial patterns of the city to ensure access to meaningful and adequate

What we want



Everyone has sufficient income to live a good life in Melbourne

What we're measuring 2030 Target Now

Poverty rate (after housing costs)

0% 13.3%

Poverty rate (before housing costs)

0% 9.8%

Proportion of households unable to raise $2,000 in a week for something important

0% 16.7%



Everyone has access to work that matters, values their capabilities and is safe for themselves and the environment

What we're measuring 2030 Target Now

Proportion of working-age people unemployed or underemployed

Under 4% 8.3%

Proportion of people reporting overall job satisfaction of at least 7 on a 10-point scale

Over 90% 79.1%

Placing Income & Work in the system

Local to global connections

Income and work in Melbourne are not defined solely by conditions within the city, but are reflective of trends at state, national and global levels:

  • State policies influence investment in various sectors and resulting spatial patterns of industries and employment opportunities, tied to transport and housing.
  • Federal policies inform worker and welfare conditions, including minimum standards for wages and leave.
  • Global trends inform demand for different types of industries, skills and capabilities, as well as political appetite in Melbourne to pursue stronger worker conditions. Likewise, the types of work undertaken in Melbourne and the income policies supported at a local level influence social and environmental outcomes globally.

Learn more

How was this dimension developed?

The Income & Work dimension of the Greater Melbourne City Portrait, including the conceptual framing and data selection, has been developed in collaboration with sector experts from academia, government and industry. A detailed description of the City Portrait methodology is outlined in the About section of the website.

Where can I access the data?

Data for Income & Work, along with the other Social Founation dimensions are available in the Social Foundations Dataset.

For Ecological Celing dimensions, see the Ecological Ceiling Dataset.

Where can I find more information on Income & Work in a regenerative Melbourne?

The City Portrait is informed by extensive research and resources on Doughnut Economics and related frameworks, as well as sector-specific research associated with each dimension. More detailed research that has informed the Income & Work dimension is available to explore via Altiorem's library.

How can I get involved?

To get involved with ongoing development of the City Portrait or learn more about Regen Melbourne, email