Starting wages for new graduates fall: survey

The average starting salary received by new graduates in their first job in 2016 fell about 4 percent from a year earlier, although the local economy showed signs of improving, according to a survey released by the online 1111 job bank on Friday.

The job bank said that average starting wages received by new graduates in their first full-time job was NT$26,250 (US$820), down NT$1,074, or almost 4 percent from the previous year.

1111 Job Bank Vice President Daniel Lee (李大華) said that despite signs of an economic recovery, the pace remained slow, which made first-time jobseekers cautious when looking for work.

Lee said that the lower starting salaries showed many new graduates preferred to secure a job with lower compensation in the first place and then set their sights on a better job with higher compensation in the future.

The reduced starting wage also indicates that employers are tightening their belts before the minimum wage rises next year from NT$20,008 to NT$21,009 and the minimum hourly wage from NT$126 to NT$133, he added.

The hike in the minimum wage is expected to increase basic employee salaries and overtime pay, which has made many employers cut their offers to newcomers, Lee said.

Due to the lower starting wages, 63 percent of the 1,304 new graduates polled said they planned to take a part-time job to supplement their income and make ends meet.

The job bank said such part-time jobs such as translators, tutors at cram schools or online vendors have more flexible work hours.

The survey showed that about 80 percent of respondents have so far landed a job, up 15 percentage points from a similar survey conducted a year earlier.

According to the survey, 22.6 percent of respondents said they received offers even before graduating, while on average those polled took 32 days to land a job.

The job bank said that the commercial/service industry, the information technology business and the retail sector were the top three segments attracting new graduates.

The survey, conducted from Nov. 9-23, has a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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