The average starting salary of university graduates was NT$28,116 per month last year, an increase of NT$461, or 1.7 percent, from the previous year, a Ministry of Labor survey showed.
It was also the highest figure for university graduates’ first job since 1991, when the ministry started its annual survey on wages in different occupations.
The previous high was recorded in 2000, when the average starting salary for a university graduate was NT$28,016 per month.
In other words, the average monthly salary increased by NT$100 over the past 16 years.
Hu Meng-yu (胡孟瑀), head of the 95 Youth Labor Union, a non-profit organization made up of college students and academics, was cited by the Chinese-language United Daily News (UDN) as saying that the growth in starting salaries for university graduates had failed to keep up with price inflation at McDonald’s.
As a result, real starting salaries have fallen over the past 16 years, Hu said.
A hospitality management student at a private university surnamed Wu (吳) said she was surprised to find during her internship at a hotel that a full-time employee at the hotel earned only NT$24,000 a month, the report said.
Wu said that after paying her school loan, rent, travel and food expenses, such a monthly salary would leave her with little disposable income.
The survey shows that among first-time employees across all educational levels, the average monthly salary last year was NT$26,723.
By sector, first-time employees in finance and insurance earned NT$31,025 per month on average, followed by NT$28,879 in the professional, scientific and technological sectors, and NT$23,598 in the service industry, including beauty salon and auto repair workers.
The survey was conducted in August last year covering 9,786 companies, the ministry said.
Lo Yi-ling (羅怡玲), head of the ministry’s Statistics Department, attributed the growth in entry-level wages to a recovering economy and the increase in the minimum wage.
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