Taiwan students struggle to find summer jobs: survey

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Taiwan students struggle to find summer jobs due to ongoing pandemic. 

Taiwan students struggle to find summer jobs due to ongoing pandemic.  (CNA photo)

Students in Taiwan are having trouble finding summer jobs in an economy that has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the results of a survey released Friday (July 10).

The "2020 post-pandemic students' summer work intention survey" conducted by Taipei-based 1111 Job Bank found that 82 percent of respondents were planning to work summer jobs to earn pocket money or help pay for school or living expenses.

More than four in five respondents (83.7 percent) said they have struggled to find jobs, and attributed their difficulties to fewer openings available, increased competition for the jobs on offer, and fewer shifts being scheduled by employers, the survey found.

1111 Job Bank spokesperson Vivi Hwang (黃若薇) said students are facing economic pressure before they enter the workplace and having "negative assets," such as student loans, is forcing them to work summer jobs to reduce their economic burdens.

Some 830,000 people around Taiwan have student loans averaging NT$206,000 (US$6,982) per person, Hwang said, citing Joint Credit Information Center statistics from April.

The survey found students most inclined to work in diners or restaurants, at cram schools, or in shopping malls during their summer break, the survey found.

On average, they work 90 hours per month and earn NT$15,262 a month, which works out to an hourly rate of NT$170, higher than the minimum hourly wage of NT$158, according to the survey.

The survey also found that more than 40 percent of respondents have been deceived or shortchanged by employers.

The problems they cited included employers not paying overtime as required by law, paying less than the statutory minimum hourly or monthly wage, not providing labor or health insurance, distributing workloads unevenly, and not offering training.

The survey was conducted from June 22 to July 8 and collected 1,143 valid responses. The job bank did not provide a margin of error.