Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Half of salaried workers burdened with debt: poll

By Hsieh Wen-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A poll released by online job bank Yes123 yesterday suggested that more than half of the nation’s salaried workers are burdened with debt.

Saying the income of the average salary worker has regressed to the average level 15 years ago amid the current rise in commodity prices, Yes123 deputy director Huang Yu-ling (黃玉齡) said the poll showed that 51 percent of salaried workers spend their entire salaries within the month.

The online poll was conducted from Sept. 4 to Sept 11, collecting a total of 2,249 valid samples, she said.

The poll further suggested that 87 percent of those surveyed are afraid of starting a family, 52 percent are burdened with debt, 91 percent feel that saving their first NT$1 million (US$34,130) is impossible and 47 percent estimate it would take them at least 10 years to earn their first NT$1 million.

More than 59 percent of salaried workers cannot afford to spend more than NT$200 on daily necessities, and among that group, 17 percent manage to spend less than NT$100 a day, the poll showed.

A quarter of salaried workers indicated they expected to be able to save if their salary increased by between NT$3,000 and NT$6,000, while 16 percent indicate that they would need an additional NT$10,000 to NT$15,000 to start saving money, the poll showed.

Eleven percent said a salary increase of NT$30,000 was necessary to make saving possible, demonstrating that many salaried workers live beyond their means, the poll showed.

While 35 percent of single workers estimate that a minimum income of NT$50,000 is needed to live in Taipei, another 31 percent felt that NT$40,000 was sufficient, the poll showed.

However, according to Huang, workers fresh out of college are offered wages averaging at NT$25,000, showing a significant difference between salary expectations and reality.

At the press conference yesterday, 31-year-old Wang Yung-kang (王永康), a graduate of Chinese Culture University’s math department, said that the rising commodity prices have further devalued salaries.

After working at a hotpot restaurant for four years and taking on a number of other jobs such as tutoring and unloading cargo, Wang said that he was left with just NT$1,080 in his account after paying off his monthly bills.

Lu Chi-jung (呂綺蓉), 26. said she has a monthly income of NT$29,000. After deducting rent, expenses for necessities, some money given to her mother and student loans,, she usually has just NT$9 left for daily expenses, so she is forced to spend her entire salary within the month.

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