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Jan. to Oct. real earnings drop to lowest in 15 years: DGBAS

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's real earnings between January and October averaged NT$45,112, which is lower than the figure registered 15 years ago, according to a report released by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計處).

Between 1998 and 2013, earnings grew 15.2 percent, while inflation rose 16.23 percent, resulting in a decrease in real earnings compared with 15 years ago, when average real earnings registered NT$45,514.

Average earnings (including regular and irregular earnings) between January and October reached NT$46,326, a 0.07-percent increase year-on-year.

Between January and October, monthly regular earnings averaged NT$37,667, while irregular earnings (including year-end bonuses, performance-based bonuses, overtime pay, etc.) averaged NT$8,649.

The real monthly regular salary for the 10-month period stood at NT$36,690, lower than NT$37,150 recorded in 1999, Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲), deputy director of the Census Department at the DGBAS, said.

During November, regular earnings grew 1.21 percent year-on-year to NT$37,794, while earnings for the month grew 3.23 percent year-on-year to NT$42,299.

Unemployment Rate

The DGBAS also released its latest employment data yesterday. The unemployment rate was pegged at 4.16 percent in November, a 0.08-percent drop month-on-month, and a 0.11-percent drop year-on-year.

The unemployment rate has hovered within a narrow range between 4.15 and 4.20 percent throughout 2013. Taiwan's unemployment rate was pegged at 4.24 percent in 2012.

Lo said the labor market has “shown signs of stability” amid sliding unemployment since the summer. “Generally speaking, the range of decline in the unemployment rate each month this year was larger than that in 2012, indicating a more stable job market,” Lo said.

The number of unemployed totaled 478,000 in November, which was a decrease of 9,000 from the previous month. The number of unemployed first-time job seekers went down by 6,000. The number of unemployed due to business contraction and closure dropped by 2,000 and 1,000, respectively. The number of unemployed due to ending of seasonal or temporary job contracts increased by 1,000.

The unemployment rate for those with a tertiary education was pegged at 5.21 percent in November, while the rate was 14.08 percent for the 20-24 age group, and 7.21 percent among the 25-29 age group.

According to the latest data, unemployment rates were pegged at 10.9 percent in France, 7.5 percent in Britain, 7 percent in the U.S., 6.9 percent in Canada, 5.2 percent in Germany, 4 percent in Japan, 3.3 percent in Hong Kong, 3 percent in South Korea, and 1.8 percent in Singapore.

Pay is an important consideration for local working classes. According to a survey conducted by a job bank, 63 percent of those in the working class intend to change jobs in the first quarter of 2014, and some are considering switching jobs after the New Year.

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