COST OF LIVING/Gender pay gap rises to 15.8% in Taiwan

02/22/2022 09:32 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) The hourly pay of male wage earners in Taiwan last year averaged NT$361 (US$13), while that of female workers was NT$304, a gap of 15.8 percent, the Ministry of Labor (MOL) reported on Tuesday as it announced Feb. 27 as equal pay day in 2022.

The 15.8 percent difference means that women in Taiwan must work 58 days (365x15.8% = 58) more to catch up with men in terms of annual earnings, and that is why this year's equal pay day was set on Feb. 27 (the 58th day of the year), the ministry said in a statement, citing statistics from the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics.

According to the MOL, the difference in men and women's hourly pay fell from 14.9 percent in 2019 to 14.8 percent in 2020 before jumping to 15.8 percent in 2021.

It attributed the rise to a larger hourly pay increase of 4.6 percent received by men last year, compared with 3.3 percent given to women.

Over the past decade, women have received higher average annual pay hikes than men, except for last year, Jasmine Mei (梅家瑗), head of the ministry's Department of Statistics, told CNA.

In the hospitality/restaurant sector where women account for 56.3 percent of employees, workers received a 1.2 percent increase in hourly pay on average because of the imposition of the COVID-19 Level 3 alert last year, while in the male-dominated manufacturing sector male workers saw a rise of 5.5 percent in their pay per hour as a result of booming foreign trade, Mei said.

In addition, she noted, the gender pay gap in the manufacturing sector also widened, as women employed in the electronics manufacturing industry received an hourly pay hike of 6.7 percent last year, lower than the 13.2 percent enjoyed by their male counterparts.

However, the gender pay gap in Taiwan is smaller than that in several other major countries.

For example, Taiwan's 15.8 percent last year was still lower than Japan's 30.7 percent, South Korea's 30.4 percent and the United States' 16.9 percent, MOL data showed.

(By Flor Wang and Wu Hsin-yun)

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