COST OF LIVING/Average pay on the rise, job bank survey finds

11/22/2022 06:42 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 22 (CNA) An annual survey by the 104 Job Bank has found that Taiwanese workers in a range of industries will average total pay of NT$677,000 (US$21,716) in 2022, the highest since the firm began tracking pay in 2016.

The semiconductor sector was the highest-paying of all sectors for a seventh consecutive year, according to the firm's annual survey focused on how much companies in various industries are paying employees in different positions.

The survey found that average pay for 2022 will be up from last year because of a strong showing by the global tech sector in the first half of 2022 and rebounding domestic consumption in the second half, said 104 Job Bank consultant Stanley Hua (花梓馨).

Average outstanding pay (referring to year-end bonuses) will also be higher because of those factors, Hua said.

The average pay level of NT$677,000, which combined both salaries and year-end bonuses, was up 3.1 percent from the previous year -- the biggest increase in five years -- Hua said.

The higher pay level was likely driven by labor shortages and inflation, he said, pointing to a 17 percent increase in job listings on the firm's portal in October compared to a year earlier and a 2.72 percent year-on-year rise in the October consumer price index.

Hua said the need for workers and rising cost of living was forcing employers to pay more to retain and attract talent this year.

The semiconductor sector was the highest-paying sector with average pay of NT$969,000, followed by telecommunications (NT$841,000), computer and consumer electronics (NT$820,000), software and internet companies (NT$811,000), and optoelectronics (NT$790,000), the survey found.

Despite excess capacity in the semiconductor sector in the second quarter, the industry has been in a favorable position for at least three years and remains highly profitable, Hua said.

That positioning coupled with a persistent brain drain driving companies to compete for talent by offering higher salaries, sometimes across borders, has resulted in the semiconductor sector offering the highest average pay of any sector, he said.

Meanwhile, the average pay in the financial sector will decline by 7.9 percent in 2022 due to insurance companies having to pay compensation to people who purchased COVID-19 plans and falling turnover on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, which is down 31 percent year-on-year, he said.

The average salary in the electronic components manufacturing sector will fall by 2.6 percent due to an economic slowdown and will drop 1.9 percent in the construction sector due to dampened sales in the property market caused by rising interest rates, he said.

By position, the five highest-paying jobs are all engineering jobs.

Analog integrated circuit (IC) design engineers topped the list with annual pay of NT$1.36 million, followed by digital IC design engineers (1.27 million), IC layout engineers (NT$1.07 million), civil engineers (NT$1.03), and semiconductor engineers (NT$1.01 million), the survey found.

Pharmacists were the highest paid non-engineers with an average income of NT$997,000, followed by consultants (NT$963,000), auditors (NT$878,000), pharmaceutical company sales representatives (NT$875,000), and software project managers (NT$860,000), it found.

Meanwhile, the average year-end bonus, which is part of the total annual pay calculation and has been tracked separately by the 104 Job Bank since 2014, will average 1.33 months' pay for 2022, up seven days pay from last year, the survey found.

While 95.9 percent of businesses said they would give employees year-end bonuses, only 89.1 percent of companies in the hospitality and food service sectors have the funding to do so, with the projected bonus averaging 0.85 months, the lowest of all sectors.

That, however, will be an improvement from last year's 0.5 months, suggesting that the two sectors are recovering from the economic fallout of COVID-19, Hua said.

The 104 Job Bank's survey was actually a combination of two surveys.

The first survey, focused on average salary paid, was based on data provided online by human resources managers and supervisors at 1,017 companies registered in the job bank from July 18 to Oct. 14 and covered 213 different positions. It had a margin of error of 3.07 percent.

The second, focused on expected year-end bonuses, was based on data provided by supervisors at 1,691 companies registered in the job bank from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10, the 104 Job Bank said, It had a margin of error of 2.38 percent.

(By Cheng Hung-ta and Sean Lin)

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