Tue, Apr 09, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Young workers staying at jobs for only 1.3 years

TIME TO MOVE ON?Approximately one-third of respondents in a survey said they were planning to change jobs, citing poor pay and career prospects

Staff writer, with CNA

A biennial survey by the Council of Labor Affairs on youth employment has found that the nation’s job turnover is high among those aged between 15 and 29.

Young workers remain with the same employer for an average of only 1.3 years, according to the survey. Low pay and poor career prospects are the main reasons behind the high turnover rate, the survey found.

The council has conducted a survey of young workers every two years since 2006 to better understand employment trends among people in the 15 to 29 age group.

The latest survey collected nearly 4,000 valid samples. All respondents were employed, with 90 percent in full-time jobs. Three-quarters of the respondents were in the 25 to 29 age bracket.

The survey’s respondents earned an average of NT$27,425 a month last year, down NT$1,931, or 6.6 percent, from the level recorded in 2006, when the council conducted the survey for the first time. During that six-year period, the consumer price index rose 9 percent.

The latest survey found that respondents had spent an average of 3.1 years in the working world, having worked an average of 2.3 jobs.

That translates to an average of 1.3 years with the same employer, the shortest span in any of the four surveys conducted to date. The average length of time respondents have been in their current jobs was 1.6 years, also the shortest ever in the poll.

Moreover, 32 percent, or about one-third, of respondents, said they were planning to change jobs. Low pay and poor career prospects were the two reasons most frequently cited for wanting to change jobs.

A 25-year-old respondent surnamed Chen (陳) said he has changed jobs four times since entering the job market less than two years ago.

He said he stayed with his first job for 11 months, earning NT$23,000 per month.

He then took a job as a salesman for a month, with a salary of NT$22,000. He earned NT$29,000 a month in his third job, which he did for just three months.

National Taiwan University associate professor Hsin Ping-lung (辛炳隆) said low pay tends to lead to frequent changes of job.

“The survey findings shed light on young adults’ difficulties in securing an ideal job,” Hsin said, adding that frequent changes of job are closely related to low wages.

In his view, upgrading local industries’ added value and expanding markets are key to improving wage levels.

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