Fri, Mar 22, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taipei a magnet for workers, firms, but also ‘painful’

RAISE:Up to 19.7 percent of respondents to a survey said that their salary must be at least NT$10,000 higher for a move to the capital to be worthwhile

By Yang Chiu-ying and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

A nationwide survey found that most people rated Taipei first in the nation’s “pain index” and that capital’s “three highs” — high cost of living, high housing costs and high prices of consumer goods — are driving workers away.

Up to 70 percent of the respondents to a survey conducted by yes123, an online job bank, said they consider Taipei as having the highest pain index in the nation.

Many Taipei residents are from other parts of the country, but have settled in the capital because of work.

Respondents rated Taipei as the city “most painful to live in” by an overwhelming ratio, with 70 percent of office worker saying Taipei was the most difficult place to live among the nation’s urban centers and municipalities. Taipei received a score of 62.6 on the “pain index” scale.

Nearly half of respondents said they would stay in Taipei because of the many job opportunities in the city.

However, 51 percent said they were considering moving back to their hometown.

“It’s a dream for many people to live and work in Taipei, but it is also a city of broken dreams,” a Yes123.com representative said.

The survey found that Taipei has a magnetic effect on the rest of the nation, with 66.6 percent of companies and 77 percent of job offers primarily based in the city.

Among office workers, 65.5 percent wanted to stay in Taipei, with the main reason cited by respondents being “plenty of job opportunities” (51.2 percent), followed by transportation convenience, high rate of information flow, good chances for promotion and good pay.

Citing monthly housing costs of NT$5,000 to NT$10,000 and the ever-rising prices of consumer goods, up to 19.7 percent of the office worker respondents born outside Taipei said their salary in the capital city would have to be NT$10,000 to NT$15,000 higher for a move to be worthwhile.

Many people dream of having a successful career in Taipei, but the survey found 51.9 percent of office workers have contemplated a return to their hometowns, with some “thinking about leaving Taipei to develop their business or taking up a new job in central or southern Taiwan.”

The time when most people consider returning to their hometown was highest during their third year living in Taipei, with 37 percent of respondents.

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