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Taiwan may raise minimum wage again

2011/01/25 19:15:40

Taipei, Jan. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's government will likely decide toraise the minimum wage for the second time in two years in the thirdquarter of this year if the economic situation remains the same, anofficial said Tuesday.

The government will consider an increase in the minimum wagebecause encouraging wage growth is part of its priority to see thatlocal workers benefit from continued strong economic growth, Councilof Labor Affairs Minister Wang Ju-hsuan said at a press briefing.

The economic recovery has improved the country's job market,driving down the unemployment rate for 16 consecutive months, shesaid, but wages have not shown commensurate growth.

Over the past decade, Wang said, wage growth has been limitedwhile consumer prices have risen, leading the government to decidelast September to increase the minimum wage from NT$17,280 (US$596)per month to NT$17,880, effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Wang said any new increase in the minimum wage would bedetermined at a regular meeting in the third quarter of this year andwould take into consideration economic growth and consumer prices atthe time.

(By Hsu Chi-wei and Alex Jiang)