Average monthly take-home wages in April gained 2.77 percent from a year earlier to NT$43,190, while total wages — including overtime and performance-based compensation — grew 4.27 percent to NT$49,930, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday, attributing the trend to an improving economy.
The pay increase came as Taiwan’s exports benefited from strong demand for tech and non-tech products, and before the COVID-19 outbreak chilled consumer activity from the middle of last month.
“The job market in April almost emerged from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” DGBAS Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) told an online news conference.
Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei Times
The public health crisis knocked out 115,000 jobs in the first five months of last year, and the situation started to improve in June last year after the government lifted most social distancing measures, Chen said.
The job market was only 4,000 jobs away from its pre-pandemic level, but things took a drastic turn following an outbreak of the virus last month, Chen said, adding that the situation this year is much worse than last year, as a level 3 COVID-19 alert impedes non-essential consumer activity.
Tourism-related sectors are again bearing the brunt, to a much larger extent this time, after authorities banned dine-in services and urged people to stay home, Chen said.
In April, restaurants and hotels raised headcounts by 5,000, outpacing the manufacturing industry with a gain of 2,000 jobs, the agency said.
Hotels across Taiwan have announced temporary closures to save operating costs, it added.
The DGBAS earlier said that it would postpone the release of unemployment data for last month to July 6, as it needs more time to collect data and process statistics.
So far, the outbreak appears to have little effect on manufacturing, Chen said.
Major listed companies from different sectors posted record revenues last month, lending support to steady advances in monthly wages.
Employees at airline companies enjoyed the highest average take-home pay of NT$74,981 per month, followed by workers at electricity and gas suppliers at NT$65,192, and employees in the financial and insurance industries at NT$63,884, DGBAS data showed.
For the first four months of this year, regular monthly wages on average increased 2.16 percent year-on-year to NT$43,085, while total compensations gained 2.69 percent to NT$62,628, the agency said.
The pace of increases shrank to 1.03 percent and 1.54 percent respectively after factoring in inflation rates, it added.
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