The number of workers hired by the industrial and service sectors grew slightly in June as the number of COVID-19 cases fell, but year-to-date take-home pay remained in negative territory after inflation, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
Average take-home pay rose 4.03 percent from a year earlier to NT$44,324 per month, while total wages — including overtime compensation, commission and bonuses — increased 3.59 percent to NT$53,068, data from the statistics agency showed.
The pace at which the average monthly wage has grown has exceeded 2 percent for nine straight months, reflecting improving corporate profitability, DGBAS Census Department Deputy Director Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣) said.
Photo: Clare Cheng, Taipei Times
Headline take-home pay in the first six months of the year climbed by a 22-year record of 3.02 percent to NT$44,262, but contracted 0.11 percent from a year earlier after an inflation rate of 3.13 percent was factored in for the period, Chen said.
A global economic recovery, and spiking energy and raw material prices have pushed consumer prices above 3 percent since March and wiped out real wage growth, she said.
The pace of the retreat is the second-worst recorded after 2.86 percent at the height of the global financial crisis in 2009, Chen said.
However, it has shown signs that it could be decelerating, as it dropped 0.2 percent from a month earlier after international crude prices lost some momentum amid rising economic uncertainty, she added.
Altogether, Taiwan has witnessed nine periods of negative wage growth in the past 21 years, Chen said.
While inflation ate away at wages, the latest payroll data showed that the job market is gradually emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.
The accession rate — the number of new employees added to payrolls — was 2.34 percent, rising 0.18 percentage points from a month earlier as businesses regained some confidence, the DGBAS said.
The exit rate rose 0.06 percentage points to 2.33 percent.
The number of workers expanded by 1,000, or 0.01 percent, to 8.14 million. The increase came as daily COVID-19 cases declined, enabling retailers and wholesale operators to hire 3,000 more staffers, the agency said.
However, restaurants and hotels shed 5,000 staff in June, slowing from 10,000 in May, Chen said.
Manufacturing sectors hired 8,000 more workers, with suppliers of electronic components accounting for 3,000 of them, the DGBAS said.
The employment figures for last month are expected to improve further, as the government introduced a new travel subsidy to shore up domestic tourism and consumer spending as a whole, it said.
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