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April 30, 2017

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Firms' willingness to raise wages 'hits five-year low'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- While a rebounding economy may bring increased job security, a new survey has warned workers not to expect a raise any time soon.

Local job bank 1111 found that despite the recovery, businesses' desire to increase employees' salaries was at a five-year low.

Lee Da-hua, 1111's deputy general manager, said that only 30.8 percent of companies surveyed had considered giving at least a portion of their staff a raise, while 69.17 percent of companies had ruled out second quarter raises entirely..

The 30.8 percent figure is the lowest it has been for the past five years, with each year since 2013, except in 2016 and 2017, finding that over 50 percent of companies were looking to give employees a raise in their salaries

Among firms that were considering handing out raises, the average percentage of employees that these companies were looking to give a raise to was 48.6 percent, the highest since 2013's 45.6 percent.

Two of the highest-rated categories included a raise of 1 to 10 percent of staff (at 11.67 percent) and a raise for all employees (at 10.83 percent).

On average, these businesses were looking to give employees a 4.3 percent raise, according to 1111's findings.

Lee explained the trends by saying that given the uncertainty surrounding new labor regulations, companies in certain sectors were looking to retain as much of their talent as possible.

A cross-industry analysis found that the industries most willing to give their workers a raise were the financial services industry, the education industry, and department stores.

Overall Economic Confidence

Most businesses (55.55 percent ) estimated that their second quarter financial performance would be similar to that of their first, while 27.8 percent expected a slight drop, and 16.7 percent an uptick.

Faced with these prospects regarding the economy and their own financial performance, businesses vary in the decisions they are making regarding new hires.

Of the businesses surveyed, 55.3 percent said they had plans to hire for the second quarter, a 6.2 percentage point decrease from the previous quarter and a 1.9 percentage point increase from the same quarter last year.

Once again, the financial services, education, and department stores were the top three among industries that were hiring, with businesses in these industries averaging around 10 vacancies

Among the top three reasons for hiring were "to fill up positions left empty" (40.7 percent), "routine hires" (32.2 percent), and "to meet increased business demands" (14.1 percent).

According to Lee, March and April are the months with the highest vacancies in companies, so those looking for jobs should take advantage of this window.

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