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Real wages in Taiwan down in first quarter of year

2016/05/23 19:20:02

Taipei, May 23 (CNA) Real wages and earnings in Taiwan were both down in the first quarter of 2016 year-on-year, hurt by lower year-end bonuses and only small gains in salaries, according to government statistics released Monday.

Average real monthly wages, which are adjusted for inflation, fell 0.21 percent from the same period a year earlier to NT$37,409 (US$1,145), the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.

Average real monthly earnings, which include regular wages and irregular income such as bonuses and overtime pay, were down 3.25 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier at NT$57,157, the DGBAS said.

Even before adjusting earnings for inflation, average monthly earnings were down 1.56 percent year-on-year in the first quarter at NT$59,580, the statistics showed.

The government agency said the decline reflected lower year-end bonuses paid out by employers due to an economic slowdown.

The only positive wage growth during the quarter was in regular nominal wages, which rose 1.53 percent from a year earlier to NT$38,995.

The gains mainly resulted from an increase in wages in March to NT$39,208 because of higher paychecks in Taiwan's financial sector during the month, the DGBAS said.

In terms of working hours, Taiwanese worked an average of 164.4 hours per month in the first quarter, down 1.6 hours from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

However, the number of working hours in March averaged 186.3 hours, up 53.4 hours from February, when the number of working days was considerably lower because of the Lunar New Year holiday, the DGBAS said.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)
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