Whanganui's average income is still below the national average but it's on the rise along with the number of jobs.
Data from Infometrics for March 2018 to March 2019 shows that the number of jobs and average earned income in Whanganui rose faster than national averages.
Hannah Kelly, of economic development agency Whanganui & Partners, said the number of jobs in Whanganui is growing at a rate higher than the population.
The number of filled jobs in Whanganui increased to 20,168, up 2 per cent in the 12 months to March 2019, compared to 1.3 per cent population growth.
"This is important, since the Whanganui-Manawatū region has historically had a higher than average rate of unemployment," Kelly said.
Over the past year, the industries that created the most local jobs were construction, transport, postal and warehousing, and healthcare and social assistance.
Along with more jobs, there's also higher pay though it remains $11,500 less than the national average.
Average earned income in Whanganui rose to $51,253 in March 2019, an increase of 4.7 per cent on the previous 12 months. Nationally, the average income rose 3.8 per cent to $62,774.
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Kelly said that while average incomes in Whanganui were below the national average, they were growing faster than average and the affordability of living in Whanganui made the district competitive in attracting new skills and talent.
"In Whanganui, servicing a mortgage on a median priced house takes up 17.9 per cent of an average income," she said.
"This is well below most places around the country. In New Zealand, excluding Auckland, that figure is 30 per cent. In Palmerston North, an average mortgage takes up 25.7 per cent of average earnings."
The cost of servicing a mortgage in Whanganui had remained roughly the same in relation to income since 2012, when 17.8 per cent of the average income went to the mortgage, Kelly said.
"It's critical to our quality of life that as our house prices grow, so do our incomes. At the end of the day, we want an economy that serves our lifestyles, not the other way around."