March average regular wage stagnant from February amid COVID-19

Taipei,  The average regular wage in March remained stagnant from February for the first time in 40 years, breaking a typical month-on-month increase due to the fewer working days in February, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has been battering the economy, according to the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS).

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed that the regular monthly wage for March averaged NT$42,309 (US$1,415), down 0.01 percent from a month earlier.

On a year-on-year basis, the March average regular wage rose 1.56 percent, the slowest growth since May 2017, which provided further evidence of the economic impact from the spread of the virus, the DGBAS said.

In March, average monthly earned income, including regular wages plus bonuses, overtime pay and other irregular income not issued on a monthly basis, stood at NT$47,750, up 2.84 percent from a year earlier, the data showed.

In the first three months of this year, the average monthly regular wage rose 1.92 percent from a year earlier to NT$42,329, and the growth moderated from 2.17 percent and 2.69 percent over the same periods of 2019 and 2018, respectively, which also showed the impact resulting from the disease, the data indicated.

In the three-month period, average monthly earned income hit NT$65,497, up 0.82 percent from a year earlier, according to the DGBAS.

After adjusting for inflation, real regular monthly wages were up 1.38 percent from a year earlier in the three-month period, while real monthly earned income rose only 0.28 percent, the data showed.

In the three months, total average monthly working hours rose 1.8 hours, or 1.13 percent, to 160.9 hours, while average overtime hours also rose 0.5 hours, or 6.58 percent, to 8.1 hours, the DGBAS said.

Meanwhile, the DGBAS said the average number of people in work as of the end of March stood at 7.96 million, down 19,000, or 0.24 percent, from a month earlier, with the hospitality and food/beverage industry seeing a decline of 18,000, as many consumers preferred to stay home to avoid infection by the virus.

In the first quarter of this year, the number of people employed in the market stood at 7.98 million, up 0.61 percent from a year earlier, the slowest growth since 2010, when the economy was hit hard by the global financial crisis.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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