COST OF LIVING/Fewer Taiwan workers earning less than NT$30,000 in regular wage

11/25/2022 12:29 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 25 (CNA) The number of employees in Taiwan who received a monthly regular wage of less than NT$30,000 (US$967) fell to a new low in 2022 since the tally was started in 1980, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

The DGBAS said the number of workers receiving less than NT$30,000 in regular monthly wage fell to 2.107 million this year, down from 2.465 million last year.

In addition, the 2.107 million workers receiving less than NT$30,000 a month accounted for 23.03 percent of the total workforce of 9.146 million in Taiwan in 2022, also falling from 26.84 percent a year earlier, data compiled by the DGBAS showed.

This follows a trend seen in the past decade. In the past 10 years, the ratio dropped significantly by 18.65 percentage points, the data indicated.

Commenting on the decline in the number of people in Taiwan receiving less than NT$30,000 in monthly wages in the past 10 years, Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said such a trend resulted from the growing willingness of employers to raise wages for their employees as well as the government's hikes to the minimum wage.

Each year, the government increases the minimum wage. Starting from Jan. 1, 2022, the monthly minimum wage in Taiwan rose to NT$25,250 a month from NT$24,000 a year earlier, and also grew from NT$18,780 in 2012.

The survey also found that the number of workers paid between NT$30,000 and NT$50,000 rose to 5.03 million in 2022 from 4.799 million a year earlier, making up close to 55 percent of the total workforce. At the same time, the number of workers paid more than NT$50,000 a month also rose to 2.01 million from 1.92 million, accounting for close to 22 percent of the total workforce, the DGBAS said.

However, after adjusting for inflation, workers took home less pay compared to last year.

In the first nine months of this year, the average regular wage for Taiwanese workers reached NT$44,319, up 2.99 percent from a year earlier, but after inflationary adjustments, the real average regular wage fell 0.07 percent from last year.

Taiwan's consumer price index for the nine months rose 3.06 percent from a year earlier, above the 2 percent alert set by the central bank.

The economy also saw an increase in companies hiring atypical or non-full-time or permanent employees, for whom they do not have to pay as much benefits, if any.

According to the survey, the number of atypical workers, referring to part-time employees, temporary employees or dispatched workers, stood at 798,000 in 2022, up about 1,000 from a year earlier, and accounting for 7.02 percent of the total workforce, an increase from the 6.97 percent last year.

The DGBAS, which normally conducts a survey on the local manpower situation in May each year, conducted the previous manpower survey focused on regular wages in October 2021, instead of May 2021, when a Level 3 alert was raised to restrict people's movement amid a significant spike in COVID-19 cases at that time.

(By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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