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Regular earnings up slightly, jobless rate falls

The China Post--Employees received slightly higher regular salaries at both nominal and real levels, while companies adjusted the amount of bonuses in accordance with economic conditions, according to the data of the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting, and Statistics (DGBAS).

In both January and February, average regular salaries were NT$37.059 (US$1235.3), 1.77 percent higher than January and February in 2011, according to DGBAS Department of Census Deputy Director Chen Min (陳憫).

When taking inflation into consideration, Chen said that real average regular earnings in January and February were 0.48 percent higher than that of last year, meaning people in Taiwan were able to buy slightly more with their regular earnings in the beginning of this year.

Bonuses in the service and manufacturing industries in December 2011 through February 2012 were equal to the salaries of 1.51 months, lower than that computed in 2011, which was equal to salaries of 1.61 months, said Chen.

This was mainly due to the relatively dire economic conditions at the end of last year, stated Chen.

The number calculated this year was equal to 2008, before the financial crisis, which was 1.51 months as well, and higher than in 2009 and 2010, according to the DGBAS.

Average salaries in January and February were NT$62,863 (US$2095.43), 2.1 percent less than that of last January and February. Real average salaries of the same period were 3.34 percent less year-on-year, according to the DGBAS. This was mainly due to fewer bonuses for employees in January and February, Chen said.

Average regular salaries in February were NT$37,054 (US$1235.13), 0.03 percent less than that of January.

Lowest Unemployment Rate Since September 2008

The unemployment rate in March was 4.17 percent, the lowest since September 2008, stated Chen.

The unemployment rate in March was 0.08 percent lower than that in February and 0.31 percent lower than last March, according to the data of the DGBAS.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March was 4.14 percent, 0.01 percent lower than February and 0.33 percent lower than last March.

The Majority of Companies Will Not Adjust Salaries

Some 71.43 percent of companies do not have any plan to adjust salaries before July, according to 1111 job bank's survey results. Companies selling general merchandise, doing trade, and companies in the information technology (IT) industry are more than willing to adjust their salaries, stated 1111 Job Bank Public Relations Director Henry Ho (何啟聖).

This survey was conducted amid the recent trend of increased salaries of AU Optronics Corp. (友達光電), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. (鴻海精密), Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (台機電), Asustek (華碩), and Chimei Innolux Corporation (奇美電), etc.

  After the government adjusted the oil and electricity prices, Hon Hai chief Terry Gou (郭台銘) said that it is the firm's responsibility to give its hard-working employees a raise.

Statistically, they are just the minority, according to 1111 Job Bank.

Sales staff, managers, and IT personnel are most likely to get a raise, said Ho. Performance, seniority, and attitude are three bases for companies to adjust employees' salaries, stated Ho.

Only 2.38 percent of companies adjust salaries due to the inflation, the data showed.

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