95% of 20-something employees ‘unsatisfied with their current job’

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

Local job bank 1111’s latest survey on work satisfaction found that 95 percent of respondents in their 20s were unsatisfied with their current jobs, the job bank’s deputy general manager Lee Da-Hua (李大華) said. In a press conference on Monday, Lee said that 95.37 percent of their young respondents — anyone aged 21 to 30 — reported some form of dissatisfaction with their current work situation.

While 39.81 percent of people said they had a few issues with their jobs but could accept them, 35.19 percent were outright dissatisfied and 20.37 percent were “very dissatisfied” with their jobs, he said. The three highest-ranking sources of dissatisfaction were low pay (claimed by 77.3 percent of respondents), long hours (claimed by 33.3 percent), and “too few work opportunities for young people” (claimed by 29.2 percent), according to the survey. Sources of Frustration The survey’s findings paint a bleak picture for younger workers in the job market. 1111 found that the greatest source of frustration for this demographic was that they had trouble saving up to buy a house (as stated by 78.7 percent of respondents). Other leading frustrations were that commodity prices were too high (claimed by 61.1 percent) and that they had no network of support whether it be family or friends (45.8 percent).

Lee said that the purchasing power of Taiwanese nationals had regressed by 16 years, and that high property prices were at the point where the average worker would have to spend no money at all for 8.97 years to buy a home.

These realities have translated into frustration levels hitting a high of 6.9 on the job bank’s frustration index, which is capped at 10. The Consequences Are Real According to Lee, the survey’s respondents made an average of NT$26,614 per month. These respondents can be categorized into three groups: those working while attending school (making NT$22,857 per month), full-time employees without another part-time job (NT$29,638 per month), and full-time employees with other part-time jobs (NT$29,762 per month).

These average salaries put those in their 20s barely above the lower-middle income group if they are living in Taipei City, according to the new poverty line drawn by the local government last year. As a result of economic pressures, a variety of effects are being reported: “being forced to take a non-ideal job” (55.3 percent), “delaying family planning” (20.3 percent), and “taking on other part-time jobs” (16.1 percent).

Lee recommended that young people develop more practical skills and experience while getting a clearer understanding of what industry they want to join.

This will give them leverage when negotiating salary and other employment conditions and perks, he said.