Nearly 45 percent of Taiwanese firms said they are considering raising wages in the second half of the year to retain workers, a significantly higher ratio than in the previous two years, but far below levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic, online job bank yes123 (yes123人力銀行) said yesterday.
Among local firms, 44.8 percent voiced plans to raise wages, performance-based compensation and bonuses to recruit and retain workers, as inflationary pressures gain momentum and push wages into negative territory, yes123 spokesman Yang Tsung-pin (楊宗斌) said, citing yes123’s latest survey.
Government data last week showed that real average wages in the first four months shrank 0.23 percent from a year earlier to NT$41,605 after factoring in consumer price increases.
Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times
The pay raise ratio is steeper than last year’s 18.5 percent increase and the 32.4 percent rise in 2020, as technology firms benefited from a surge in demand for devices used in remote working and learning.
However, the proportion fell far below the 54.4 percent recorded for the same period in 2019, suggesting there is still room for a full recovery, Yang said.
He attributed the lag to recurring COVID-19 outbreaks that are affecting sectors reliant on domestic demand, adding that Taiwanese have generally stayed home since April to avoid infection.
“It is wise for companies to hold onto cash and adopt a conservative pay policy in times of business slowdown,” Yang said, adding that ongoing virus infections drove 16.3 percent of companies to cancel plans to raise pay.
The pace of pay increases averaged 3.9 percent, with 12 percent of firms reporting increases of more than 10 percent, the survey found.
Furthermore, 36.3 percent of the companies polled intend to issue bonuses and rewards in the second half of the year, higher than the 25.3 percent that did last year and 29.3 percent in 2020, but lower than 47.2 percent in 2019, it found.
Evergreen Marine Corp (長榮海運) and Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp (陽明海運) announced plans at shareholders’ meetings to distribute bonuses equivalent to several months of wages. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電), MediaTek Inc (聯發科) and other profitable tech firms have also introduced the practice.
Yang called on policymakers and private-sector firms to work together to ward off a forecast surge in unemployed first-time jobseekers as the graduation season approaches.
They should also seek to prevent people from dropping out of the workforce due to being unemployed for a long period, he added.
The online job bank polled 1,222 people over the Internet between May 25 and Tuesday last week.
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