TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A survey by Taiwan's top job hunting website has found that the average annual salary increased to NT$641,000 (US$22,400) as Taiwan was able to quickly contain the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak and post modest economic growth this year.
On Tuesday (Nov. 10), 104 Job Bank presented the results of a survey on its Facebook page showing that the average annual salary in Taiwan reached NT$641,000 in 2020, an increase of NT$5,000 over last year. Blue-collar and grey-collar workers saw a larger pay increase than white-collar workers this year.
However, this only represented a 0.7 percent increase over the previous year, marking the third year in a row of relatively "stagnant" wage growth, according to the report. Wages in the construction sector outperformed the average with construction supervisors at the top of the list in the industry at NT$1.072 million per year.
In second place was Field Application Engineers (FAE) at NT$793,000, followed by site supervisors/directors at NT$718,000, construction engineers at NT$658,000, business support engineers at NT$656,000, and hydropower engineers at NT$650,000.
In addition, this year's overall wage adjustment rate is 2.9 percent, which is the first time it has dropped below 3 percent over the past five years. The wage adjustment rate for all four major industries in Taiwan, including knowledge-intensive services, electronics manufacturing, general services, and traditional manufacturing, have all seen lower pay raises this year.
Knowledge-intensive services led the pack with an adjustment of 3.2 percent, followed by electronics manufacturing and general services at 2.8 percent, and traditional manufacturing at 2.7 percent. 104 Job Bank Deputy General Manager Chung Wen-hsiung (鍾文雄) said that at present, performance-based pay adjustments are still the most prevalent among companies and they are usually made around Lunar New Year or the middle of the year.
As the pandemic is continuing to rage unabated across the globe, Chung said that most firms have adopted a "conservative policy." Chung concluded that as a result, the overall annual salary increase this year is lower than in previous years.
Although the increases in annual pay are modest, they nevertheless represent an uptick, while many countries suffer record rates of unemployment. In a study published in September by the Brookings Institution, Taiwan was the sole country out of 30 to post positive GDP growth since the start of 2020, while only experiencing seven deaths from the virus.
Despite a dearth of information from China and the World Health Organization (WHO) about atypical pneumonia cases in Wuhan, Taiwan's government on Dec. 31, 2019, launched enhanced border control and quarantine measures "based on the assumption that human-to-human transmission was in fact occurring," according to the CDC. On Jan. 20, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) was activated, with Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) at the helm.
Steps taken by the CECC from that day forward have been key in eliminating local coronavirus infections in Taiwan for 213 days and counting.