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《TAIPEI TIMES》Inflation wipes out 2.25% increase in monthly wages

A worker handles a payment from a customer at a restaurant in Taipei’s Xinyi District yesterday.
Photo: CNA

A worker handles a payment from a customer at a restaurant in Taipei’s Xinyi District yesterday. Photo: CNA

2024/05/11 03:00

CONTRACTION: Inflation of 2.34% meant that average take-home pay decreased by 0.09% despite recording the second-highest wage increase in six years, DGBAS said

By Crystal Hsu / Staff reporter

Taiwan’s average monthly take-home pay last quarter increased by 2.25 percent from a year earlier to NT$46,030 (US$1,420), on the back of wage hikes in the public and private sectors, but inflation wiped out the benefit of growth, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.

Inflation of 2.34 percent during the January-to-March period meant that real average take-home pay shrank 0.09 percent after two straight years of contractions.

“The 2.25 percent wage advance represented the second-highest in six years, but the consumer price index moved up faster,” Census Department Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) said.

The situation might improve, as last month’s inflationary gauge posted a moderate increase of 1.95 percent, nearing the central bank’s 2 percent target despite an 11 percent uptick in electricity tariff rates, Chen said.

Food and entertainment price hikes slowed, nearly two years after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the statistics agency said.

Real total wages — which includes overtime compensation, performance-based commissions and bonuses — climbed a steeper 3.24 percent to NT$67,662, managing to yield a growth of 0.88 percent after adjustments for inflation, Chen said.

Financial and insurance companies offered the highest average take-home pay and overall compensation at NT$68,698 and NT$91,967 respectively, as banks, securities houses and fund houses benefitted from rallies on the local bourse and improving risk appetite.

Video content publishers ranked second, while electricity and gas suppliers placed third by giving their employees average monthly wages of NT$67,058 and NT$66,382, or total compensation of NT$82,786 and NT$76,268 respectively, the DGBAS report showed.

The pickup came after Taiwan’s economy steadily emerged from a global slowdown, although uncertainties linger, Chen said.

The number of workers hired in the service and industrial sectors in March fell 0.05 percent, or 5,000 people, to 8.41 million, as manufacturers preferred the use of overtime, instead of expanding their payroll, to meet rush business orders, Chen said.

That explained why overtime hours increased at the fastest rate in five years, Chen added.

Likewise, the accession rate last month was at 2.35 percent, rising 0.32 percentage points from one month earlier, the agency said.

The dropout rate rose 0.09 percentage points to 2.41 percent, indicating that more people joined the labor market than quit, DGBAS data showed.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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