Taipei, Migrant workers likely remitted more than US$3 billion out of Taiwan in 2018, reflecting their growing numbers in the country, according to the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
In the first 11 months of 2018, migrant workers remitted US$2.8 billion out of Taiwan, compared with US$3 billion for the whole of 2017, said Ho Pei-chen, deputy head of the central bank's Foreign Exchange Department.
That amounted to remittances of more than US$300 per migrant worker on a monthly basis, which accounts for as much as half of their income, she said, based on statistics compiled by the Ministry of Labor (MOL).
The MOL estimates that foreign caregivers in Taiwan earn an average of US$647 per month and industrial workers average US$902 per month, Ho said.
The figures also indicate that foreign workers in Taiwan, who originate primarily from Southeast Asian countries, are able to earn better pay here than at home, making jobs in Taiwan attractive.
Overseas worker numbers in the country have grown steadily since they were first allowed into Taiwan in 1993 to make up for local labor shortages, according to MOL figures.
Their numbers have risen from 480,400 in November 2013 to 545,000 a year later and 586,000 two years later, before exceeding the level of 600,000 in June 2016.
By the end of 2017, there were 676,100 foreign workers in Taiwan, and that number reached as high as 703,162 by the end of October 2018, according to the MOL statistics.
Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council