Taiwanese workers saw their total earnings adjusted for inflation rise in the first 11 months of last year, despite real wages remaining at a level seen in 2003, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said.
Real average monthly earnings, which include regular wages plus bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income not issued on a monthly basis, totaled NT$52,275 (US$1,745) in the 11-month period, up 1.49 percent year-on-year, data released by the DGBAS on Friday last week showed.
Real average wages, which only cover base salary and other regular forms of pay, such as monthly subsidies for transportation and other expenses, totaled NT$40,793 in the same period, up 1.7 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.
Although real wages were slightly below the NT$40,885 level seen for the same period in 2003, real earnings were 5.5 percent higher than the 2003 level, indicating that long-term wage gains came mainly from gains in bonuses and other irregular income.
The rise in real earnings in the 11-month period showed that employers issued more bonuses in the third quarter, DGBAS Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) said.
Before being adjusted for inflation, regular monthly wages averaged NT$41,829, up 2.22 percent from a year earlier, while average monthly earnings rose 2.01 percent to NT$53,603, the data showed.
While wages rose, total working hours edged lower.
In the first 11 months of last year, average monthly working hours fell by one hour, or 0.59 percent, to 168.2 hours, and average overtime hours dropped 0.3 hours, or 3.7 percent, to 7.8 hours, the data showed.
In November alone, average monthly working hours fell 5.3 hours, or 2.99 percent, from a year earlier to 171.7 hours, but average overtime hours rose 0.3 hours, or 3.85 percent, to 8.1 hours.
Overtime hours in the manufacturing sector rose 0.4 hours in November from a year earlier, ending 13 consecutive months of decline, indicating that many manufacturers expanded production by boosting overtime, Pan said.
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