Total employment in 2020 sees first decline in 11 years

02/19/2021 10:35 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The average number of people employed in the industrial and service sectors in Taiwan fell in 2020 for the first time in 11 years because of the economic disruption caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan's statistics bureau reported Friday.

An average of 7.955 million people were employed in the industrial and service sectors in 2020, down 0.15 percent from a year earlier, according to the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

There were 7.99 million people employed in the two sectors by the end of December, up 88,000 from June when the economy began to recover, but still down 29,000 from the end of 2019.

This showed that while the employment situation has improved, it has not rebounded to the level seen before the pandemic began, said Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department.

Meanwhile, the average regular monthly salary in Taiwan was NT$42,498 (US$1,522) in 2020, up 1.47 percent from the previous year, DGBAS data showed.

Regular salary covers base salary and other regular forms of pay, such as monthly subsidies for transportation and other expenses.

Average monthly earnings, which consists of regular salary and irregular income such as overtime pay and bonuses, was NT$54,320, up 1.24 percent year-on-year, the data showed.

The growth rates were the lowest in both categories in four years, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on enterprises, according to Chen.

Although Taiwan is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19, there are many high-paying occupations, according to Chen.

The average monthly earnings in the financial sector in 2020 was NT$106,362, compared to NT$94,654 in the telecommunications sector and NT$94,363 in the electricity and gas supply sector.

Of note, average monthly earnings in the shipping industry totaled NT$100,108 in 2020, up 10.64 percent from a year earlier because of the boom in container shipping, Chen said.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's workers saw their real monthly salary rise 1.7 percent after being adjusted for inflation from a year earlier to NT$41,538, the highest since 2003 when the real regular salary was NT$40,992, DGBAS data showed.

The rise in real monthly earnings of 1.47 percent to NT$53,094, however, was the second slowest rate of growth in the past seven years.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Evelyn Kao)

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