Sun, Nov 30, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Year-end bonuses set to rise, survey finds

BY Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Ready to do year-end shopping or hand out red envelopes, but find your wallet is empty? Don't worry, year-end bonuses this year will be slightly higher than last year, according to a survey released yesterday by the Internet-based 104 Job Bank Corp.

As the global and local economy has been picking up in the second half of the year, the survey found that, on average, workers are expected to receive 1.4 months' salary as a year-end bonus this year. This represents a slight increase of 0.1 month's salary on bonus amounts last year.

The banking and insurance sectors top the chart with a 2.2-month-salary bonus, importers and exporters were in the second position with 1.5-month-salary bonuses, while traditional manufacturing took the third place with 1.4-month-salary bonuses.

"The [economic] rejuvenation did help to raise year-end bonuses, but I think if the economy remains strong throughout next year, workers can look forward to even higher bonuses next year," said Rocky Yang (楊基寬), chairman of the job bank, at a press conference yesterday.

In general, the government and various institutions are bullish about the nation's economic outlook for next year. The government's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) on Nov. 14 raised its forecasts for the nation's economic growth to 4.1 percent for next year from the 3.81 percent it predicted in August. The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research last week also said it expects the nation's GDP to exceed 5 percent after it predicted 4.62 last month.

The rebound is largely driven by increased orders for information technology equipment, which boosted manufacturing activity and raised exports, particularly to China.

However, the IT industry was found to pay merely about 1.3 months' salary as year-end bonuses, down from 1.5 months last year. IT workers do not have to become frustrated about this, as they can further reap profits from stock options or company bonuses, Yang said.

Other industries include the medical and biochemistry sector, social services, media and advertising, which will pay an average 1.3-month year-end bonus.

Construction and real estate, wholesale and retail businesses and the travel industry are expecting a 1.1 to 1.2-month salary bonus, the poll found.

Meanwhile, the survey also suggested that some 87 percent of enterprises in Taiwan are planning to hire more staff, due to the brisk economic recovery.

The survey found that 57 percent of enterprises have confirmed that they will recruit new staff next year, while 30 percent said they need to recruit more staff but still have to verify that the economy has indeed recovered.

The good news for first-time job seekers is that 95 percent of the businesses surveyed said that they have no plans to cut back on staff numbers next year.

The survey also showed that technical talent is most needed by Taiwanese businesses, with 44 percent of vacant positions in this area. Meanwhile, 32 percent of the positions needed to be filled are for business talent, while only eight percent of the positions are for laborers.

The main reasons cited by the enterprises for needing to recruit new staff were "more new products or more new services," and replacement of staff laid off during the economic slump.

The online human resources company said that the information technology and electronics sectors still offer the most job opportunities.

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