Average real earnings in first ten months of 2015 hits record high


TAIPEI–Average real earnings in Taiwan in the first 10 months of 2015 finally returned to their level prior to the 2008-2009 global financial crisis and edged above their all-time high, set in 2004, according to government figures released Tuesday.

Average real monthly earnings, which include irregular income such as overtime and bonuses and are adjusted for inflation, amounted to NT$47,567 (US$1,448) in the first 10 months of the year, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) figures showed.

The figure was up 3.33 percent from the same period last year and eclipsed the previous high for real monthly earnings over 10-month period since the global financial crisis occurred of NT$46,182 in 2011.

The previous all-time high for average real monthly earnings during the 10-month period was NT$47,477 in 2004, according to DGBAS figures.

As in many other industrialized countries, Taiwan has suffered from stagnant real wages over the past two decades, a trend exacerbated by the global economic meltdown seven years ago and the widening inequality in income distribution that resulted.

The average real monthly earnings figure in the first 10 months, though the highest ever, was still less than a percent higher than for the same period in 2000.

Average nominal earnings amounted to NT$49,265 for the first 10 months of the year, up 2.89 percent from a year earlier, the DGBAS said.

Average real monthly salary (including regular wages and fixed stipends) was NT$37,330 in the January to October period, up 1.79 percent from the same period last year.

It was the highest average real salary since the global financial crisis occurred but still short of the average salaries of over NT$38,000 recorded in pre-financial crisis years.

In October, average regular salary before being adjusted for inflation was NT$38,941, up 1.2 percent from the same period of last year and up 0.49 percent rise from a month earlier, according to the DGBAS.