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Despite increase to minimum, wages stagnant for most workers: survey

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Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) Over half of Taiwan's workers have not received a salary increase for more than three years, according to a survey from employment website 1111 released Tuesday.

Last week, a minimum wage evaluation committee at the Ministry of Labor (MOL) decided to raise Taiwan's minimum monthly and hourly wage by 5.21 percent from Jan. 1, 2022 -- the sixth consecutive year it has been increased.

But 53.4 percent of those surveyed by 1111 online job bank said they had not been given a raise for an average of three years and one month.

Retail workers in places such as department stores, supermarkets and hypermarkets reported the lengthiest salary freeze at four years and three months on average, with those in the service sector -- mostly food and beverage vendors -- second at an average of three years and eight months.

Those in the pan-finance sector reported the shortest period without a raise at two years and three months.

1111 spokesperson Vivi Huang (黃若薇) said the impact of COVID-19 since 2019 and the introduction of restrictions in Taiwan after a case surge beginning mid-May had hit the domestically-oriented service and retail sectors hardest.

Many restaurants, food & beverage vendors, hospitality and retail & wholesale business owners have had no choice but to furlough employees and cut operating costs in a bid to survive, Huang said.

Huang added it was too early for affected companies to know if business would return to pre-pandemic levels and, as a result, wage increases were unlikely to come any time soon.

The job bank survey, conducted during Sept. 15 to Oct. 8, collected 1,084 valid questionnaires. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.98 percent.

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