Taiwan's regular wages up 1.86% in February

  928
Average regular wages still growing in February, says DGBAS.

Average regular wages still growing in February, says DGBAS. (By Central News Agency)

The average regular wages in Taiwan rose 1.86 percent from a year earlier in February, but the latest growth stopped a 14-month rising streak that amounted to a more than 2 percent increase, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed the average regular wage in Taiwan stood at NT$41,187 (US$1,337) in February, up NT$754 or 1.86 percent from a year earlier.

The DGBAS said while employers in Taiwan remained keen to raise wages for their employees as incentives, the growth in February lagged behind the 2.36 percent increase in January and also broke the 14-month rise that resulted in a more than 2 percent increase due to the relatively high comparison base over the same period of last year.

Pan Ning-hsin (潘寧馨), deputy director of the DGBAS' census department, said employers appeared more willing to raise wages, so the local economy grew at a faster pace last year.

Despite the slowing pace in regular wage increase in February, Pan said, salaries in the local market were growing at a steady pace.

In mid-February, the DGBAS cut its forecast for Taiwan's 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) growth to 2.27 percent from a 2.41 percent increase predicted in November after taking into account weakening global demand. In 2018, Taiwan's GDP grew 2.63 percent.

Pan said the local job market has felt the pinch from the impact resulting from a slowing economy, but the negative effects on wages seemed to be mild.

Overtime hours worked, meanwhile, fell year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month in February, down 0.1 hours or 1.35 percent to 7.3 hours, while the average overtime pay in February rose 3.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$1,727, according to the DGBAS.

For the first two months of this year, the average regular wage rose 2.09 percent from a year earlier to NT$41,442, the DGBAS said.

The average earned income, made up of regular wages and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses for the two-month period rose 1.57 percent from a year earlier to NT$74,442, the DGBAS added.

After inflationary adjustments, however, the real average regular wage for the two months rose only 1.89 percent from a year earlier to NT$40,673, while the average earned income grew 1.38 percent to NT$73,061, the DGBAS added.

The DGBAS said the average year-end bonuses issued in the period of December 2018 to February 2019 stood at NT$70,164 or an equivalent of about 1.69 months of salaries, up 1.47 percent from NT$69,147 a year earlier.

The financial sector gave the highest year-end bonuses of all sectors -- about NT$214,691 on average, equivalent to 3.49 months of wages.

The manufacturing sector came in second, giving 1.98 months of wages in year-end bonuses on average, while the telecom/information communication sector gave 1.72 months of wages on average, the DGBAS said. (By Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)