41% of millennials graduate with student debt: survey

The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan’s young adults are facing stagnant wages in an increasingly competitive labor market. What’s worse, many are also in debt.

According 1111 Job Bank survey data released today, 41 percent of 562 people surveyed owed at least NT$200,000 (US$6,589) in student debt, with 17 percent owing NT$310,000 or more.

Assuming that these recent graduates earn a starting salary of NT$28,004 (US$922) and spend no money at all, it would take them 7.35 months to pay off their debts.

Factoring in the 2.4 months it takes on average to land a job, these young people will spend at least the first year after graduation paying off their debts, the job bank said.

Student loans are becoming increasingly common, and the debt burden of Taiwan’s young workforce is becoming greater.

Job bank deputy CEO Lee Ta-hua said that 63 percent of those interviewed were interested in seeking jobs abroad, with 25.9 percent of those seeking full-time jobs.

Over 26 percent were looking for short-term work abroad, and 11.1 percent were interested in work holiday arrangements.

Lee said that more graduates were setting their sights on overseas opportunities due to wage bottlenecks in Taiwan, difficulties in finding a job and the advantages associated with overseas work, such as higher wages, the chance to strengthen one’s skillset and opportunities for advancement.

The survey was conducted from June 7 to 21 on seniors graduating from university this year.