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September, 30, 2016

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Average wage edges down in first seven months of year

TAIPEI -- The average monthly nominal wage for the first seven months of this year fell slightly in reflection of smaller bonus payouts by employers, at a time when the local economy was slowing down, according to government statistics released Thursday.

Citing the data, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said that the average monthly nominal wage in Taiwan before inflationary adjustments, which comprise regular salaries and non-regular salaries such as bonuses and overtime pay, stood at NT$51,429 (US$1,637), down 0.06 percent from NT$51,460 recorded over the same period of last year.

Pan Ning-hsin, deputy director of the DGBAS's census department, said that the local economy suffered a slowdown starting from the second half of last year, so many employers tended to dole out smaller year-end bonuses, which are usually given ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

Pan said that the weakness of the local economy also led many employers to issue smaller performance bonuses to their employees during the seven-month period, which also pushed down the average wage.

However, the average nominal regular monthly wage in the first seven months of the year rose 1.36 percent from a year earlier to NT$39,118, the highest level compared with the same periods in the past, the DGBAS said.

After inflationary adjustments, the average monthly real wage for the first seven months of this year fell 1.53 percent from a year earlier to NT$49,200, while the average monthly real regular wage during the same period also fell 0.13 percent year-on-year to NT$37,423, the DGBAS data shows.

In July alone, the average nominal wage stood at NT$46,911, up 4.25 percent from a month earlier but down 0.11 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said. The agency said that the regular wage for July rose 0.10 percent from a month earlier to NT$39,189, and the figure was also 0.82 percent higher than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the DGBAS said, the average working hours in the local industrial and service sectors for July hit 170 hours, down 2.1 hours from a month earlier, and also down 17 hours from a year earlier.

In the first seven months of this year, the average monthly working hours in the two sectors stood at 167.7 hours, down 5 hours from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

In the seven-month period, the regular working hours fell 4.7 hours in the two sectors from a year earlier, and overtime working hours also dropped 0.3 hours, the DGBAS said.

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