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Number of workers earning less than NT$30,000 down for 8th year

2017/12/02 15:38:46

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Taipei, Dec. 2 (CNA) The number of workers in Taiwan who earned less than NT$30,000 (US$1,000) per month fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2017, accounting for about 31 percent of the total paycheck earners, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The DGBAS cited a survey conducted in mid-May that found the number of those who earned less than NT$30,000 made up 31.47 percent, falling from 44.39 percent recorded in 2009.

The data shows that a total of 2.71 million employees in Taiwan earned less than NT$30,000 per month out of the total 8.62 million workers in the annual survey, which was conducted in May this year.

The data echoed Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), who said earlier this week that the number of low-income earners in Taiwan has been gradually on the decline in recent years, accounting for only about 30 percent of total employees, referring to those earning less than NT$30,000 per month.

Lai said the decline in low income earners resulted from efforts to boost the economy and improve the job market.

Tsai Hung-kun (蔡鴻坤), deputy head of the DGBAS, said the number of those workers who earned less than NT$30,000 a month in 2017 fell about 220,000, or 2.86 percentage points, from 2016. Tsai said the downtrend has continued for eight years in a row, indicating that the wage structure in Taiwan has been changing.

In 2017, paycheck earners who pocketed more than NT$50,000 a month accounted for 18.94 percent of the total employees, compared with a 15.99 percent ratio recorded in 2009. The year also marked the eighth consecutive year in which the number of such earners increased.

Tsai said the data shows that the increase in earners with more than NT$50,000 a month indicates that salaries in Taiwan have been on the rise.

In May, the average monthly regular wage in Taiwan rose 1.63 percent from a year earlier to NT$38,656, according to the DGBAS. The DGBAS data shows that the number of so-called "atypical employees" who work either on a part-time basis or on temporary or dispatched employment contracts totaled 805,000 in 2017, the highest level to date.

The DGBAS said that atypical workers accounted for 7.11 percent of the total workforce in Taiwan in 2017, up 13,000 from a year earlier.

Despite the increase in atypical employees, the ratio to the total workforce was still lower than neighboring countries such as Japan and South Korea, where the percentage topped 20 percent, the DGBAS said.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Frances Huang)