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COST OF LIVING/Average real monthly earnings down 0.67% on reduced bonuses

09/13/2023 10:49 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) Average monthly earnings in Taiwan's industrial and service sectors for the first seven months of this year fell 0.67 percent from a year earlier, after adjusting for inflation, due to a fall in bonus payments from employers, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Wednesday.

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed that average monthly earnings, which include regular wages and non-regular wages, such as bonuses and overtime pay, fell to NT$56,338 (US$1,761) during the January-July period, down 0.67 percent from a year earlier.

This marks the first year-on-year decline in average monthly earnings in seven years for the seven-month period, the DGBAS said.

Speaking with reporters, DGBAS Census Department Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) said at a time of falling global demand and economic weakness, many export-oriented companies in the country opted to scale back their bonus payouts as they grappled with squeezed profit margins.

Before accounting for inflation, average nominal monthly earnings showed a 1.57 percent year-on-year increase, reaching NT$61,600 in the seven-month period, according to DGBAS statistics.

Within the same period, the average nominal monthly regular wage experienced a 2.47 percent year-on-year increase, reaching NT$45,381. However, once inflation is factored in, the average real monthly regular wage registered only a modest 0.21 percent year-on-year growth, amounting to NT$41,504, the DGBAS' data showed.

In July, average monthly earnings totaled NT$59,221, up NT$968, or 1.66 percent, from a year earlier, while average monthly regular wages also climbed by NT$1,115, or 2.51 percent, from a year earlier to NT$45,520, the DGBAS said.

The DGBAS said that in July, the total number of working hours saw a slight uptick, rising by 0.3 hours or 0.18 percent from the previous year, reaching 169.9 hours. Overtime hours similarly increased by 0.3 hours or 3.85 percent year-on-year, totaling 8.1 hours for the month.

At the end of July, the total number of employees in the industrial and service sectors increased by 25,000, or 0.31 percent from a month earlier to about 8.19 million, the DGBAS said.

In the lodging and food/beverage industry, the number of employees at the end of July rose 6,000 from a month earlier, while the number of employees in the retail and wholesale industry also increased by 5,000 from a month earlier, the DGBAS added.

During the January-July period, the DGBAS said, the average number of employees stood at 8.17 million, up 15,000 or 0.19 percent from a year earlier, with the number in the lodging and food/beverage industry up 11,000 on the back of solid domestic spending.

On the other hand, the DGBAS said, the number of employees in the manufacturing industry dropped by 17,000 from a year earlier in the seven month period in the wake of falling outbound sales.

(By Hsieh Fang-yu and Frances Huang)

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