Regular monthly wages post slowest growth in September in 2 years

11/12/2019 04:45 PM
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Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) Average regular monthly wages in September grew less than 2 percent from a year earlier, the first time in seven months they did not grow more than 2 percent, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Regular monthly wages in September averaged NT$41,854 (US$1,376), up 1.72 percent year-on-year, the lowest monthly growth since May 2017 when regular wages grew 1.59 percent, data compiled by the DGBAS showed.

Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said the lower growth was largely the result of lower regular performance bonuses issued on a monthly basis by the financial and insurance sectors.

Average regular salary growth in the financial and insurance sectors was only 1.45 percent in September, DGBAS data showed.

Pan said the fall in the monthly bonus was caused by several reasons, including deferred payouts or payouts made ahead of schedule, but they did not indicate any deterioration in the industry's operations.

The larger numbers of workers in the machinery, retail and wholesale, and construction sectors also dragged down regular monthly wages in September, Pan said.

The average regular wage in the machinery industry grew only 1.12 percent from a year earlier in September, much lower than the overall regular wage.

Asked whether the lower regular wages reflected a slower economy, Pan said it was too early to tell because the data was only for a single month.

In the first nine months of the year, regular monthly wages averaged NT$41,766, up 2.24 percent from a year earlier, while average monthly earnings were up 1.91 percent at NT$54,946.

Average monthly earnings include regular wages plus bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income not issued on a monthly basis.

After adjusting for inflation, real regular monthly wages were up 1.72 percent from a year earlier in the nine-month period, while real monthly earnings rose only 1.39 percent, the data showed.

Despite slight wage gains, total working hours edged lower. In the first nine months of the year, average monthly working hours fell 0.30 percent to 166.9 hours while average overtime hours fell 3.70 percent to 7.8 hours, the DGBAS said.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)


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