Financial and Technology News

Average take-home pay rises nearly 3%

The average monthly take-home wage rose 2.7 percent to NT$42,495 (US$1,409) in December last year, while total pay grew 7.01 percent to NT$53,667 after adding overtime and performance-based remunerations, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said yesterday.
The latest wage figures helped elevate average monthly take-home pay by 2.26 percent to a record high of NT$41,883 for the whole of last year, as local firms emerged unscathed from the US-China trade dispute, the statistics agency said.
“Monthly salary adjustments were quite obvious, with an increase of more than 2 percent last year,” DGBAS Deputy Director Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨) told a media briefing in Taipei.
The pay increase came as some Taiwanese firms moved their manufacturing bases to Taiwan from China to avoid punitive tariffs imposed by the US on Chinese goods, making them less susceptible to the trade row.
Some local companies also benefited from order transfers from Chinese firms aiming to cut dependence on US suppliers.
Last year’s overall average wages, including bonuses and commissions, amounted to NT$56,652 an increase of 2.4 percent, the statistics agency said.
After adjustments for inflation, real average take-home pay gained 1.69 percent to a 16-year high of NT$40,842, while total average compensations rose 1.84 percent to NT$53,667, it said.
People who worked for banking institutions had the highest average monthly pay at NT$104,934 per month, followed by employees at transportation companies at NT$97,545 and electricity and gas suppliers at NT$96,110, the DGBAS said.
People working at educational facilities — excluding public and private schools — had the lowest average monthly compensation at NT$26,971, followed by hair salons at NT$29,625 and restaurants at NT$34,199, it said, adding that the large number of part-time employees in those sectors dragged down the wage tally.
For December last year, the number of working hours increased to 177.9, a gain of 6.7 hours from a year earlier, reflecting higher labor demand, the agency’s monthly report showed.
For the entirety of last year, Taiwanese worked 169.1 hours per month, 0.3 hours fewer than in 2018, it said.
The job pool expanded 1.14 percent to 7.96 million last year, as manufacturing sectors added 5,000 employees, while hotels and restaurants increased headcounts by 11,000, it said.
Asked about the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Pan said it is unlikely that companies would cut wages as a result of the virus, but it could constrain the pace of wage increases as seen during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Wage increases tapered off to 0.17 percent when SARS struck, Pan said.