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Employment, wages improve in August amid eased COVID-19 fears

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Employment, wages improve in August amid eased COVID-19 fears

Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Amid eased concerns over COVID-19, the local job market improved in August, pushing up the number of people in employment and wages for August, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said Wednesday.

Data compiled by the DGBAS showed about 8.09 million people were employed in the industrial and service sectors in August, up 30,000 or 0.36 percent from a month earlier, the second consecutive month-on-month increase.

According to the data, the number of employees in the lodging and food/beverage sector rose 13,000 from a month earlier in August, the highest growth in the industrial and service sectors, at a time when the country has brought an outbreak of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases under control.

The DGBAS said the retail and wholesale industry came in second after the number employed rose 9,000 from a month earlier in August.

The DGBAS added that the number employed in the education sector, which is largely comprised of cram schools and kindergartens, rose 4,000 from a month earlier in August, while the number in the medical care and social work business also grew 4,000 month-on-month.

In August, average monthly regular wages in the industrial and service sectors rose NT$325 or 0.76 percent from a month earlier to NT$43,277 (US$1,546), the DGBAS said, adding that the growth came largely from a relatively low comparison base in July amid COVID-19.

Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census department, said as the COVID-19 situation has stabilized, business activities have gradually returned to normal boosting the local job market.

However, according to the DGBAS in August average monthly earnings, which are comprised of regular wages and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, fell NT$4,196 or 7.58 percent from a month earlier.

In the first eight months of this year, average monthly regular wages totaled NT$42,990, up 1.78 percent from a year earlier but after adjusting for inflation, growth was only 0.15 percent year-on-year, the DGBAS said.

During the same eight month period, average monthly earnings rose 2.41 percent from a year earlier to NT$57,579 but the growth was reduced to 0.78 percent after adjusting for inflation, the DGBAS added.

Taiwan's consumer price index (CPI) for the eight month period rose 1.64 percent from a year earlier, according to the DGBAS.

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