Employment in Taiwan improves in October amid easing COVID-19 concerns

Taipei, Dec. 11 (CNA) Workers in local industrial and service sectors rose in October as business activity picked up amid subsided concerns about COVID-19, according to the Directorate-General for Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS). .

Given rising domestic consumption, according to the DGBAS, the accommodation and food / beverage industries, hard hit by COVID-19 fears, managed to see the number of employees rise near the level before the outbreak of the domestic-transmitted cases in mid-May.

According to the DGBAS, around 8.15 million people were employed in industry and services at the end of November, 31,000 or 0.38 percent more than at the end of September.

It was the fourth month in a row that the employment figures have increased according to DGBAS.

The data showed that the number of employees in the accommodation and restaurant industry increased by 11,000 at the end of October compared to the previous month, while the number of employees in the support services industry, which consists mainly of travel agencies, also increased as the entertainment / arts and crafts Leisure industry rose by 5,000 each time.

Chen Hui-hsin (陳惠欣), deputy director of the DGBAS census division, said that as the government lowered the alert level for COVID-19 by easing restrictions on free movement of people, employment has shown signs of further improvement.

In October, Chen said the October 10 three-day national holiday, along with the NT $ 5,000 (US $ 180) government-issued spending vouchers, also boosted domestic consumption, leading companies to hire more workers.

Compared to late April, the number of people employed in the accommodation and food / beverage industries was only 3,000 fewer as of late October than it was before the outbreak, due to the growing willingness of consumers to spend, Chen said.

In the past few months, Chen said the number of people employed in the lodging and food / beverage industries has increased by about 10,000 a month.

However, the entertainment, arts and recreation sectors still had 16,000 fewer employees than in April because restrictions on patronage in KTV salons were not eased until October, Chen said.

Chen said that in addition to employment, lowering COVID-19 concerns have helped keep wages rising steadily.

In October, the average monthly regular wages in the industrial and service sectors were NT $ 43,593, NT $ 214 or 0.49 percent more than in the previous month, the DGBAS said. The October value had also increased by 2.21 percent compared to the previous year, added the DGBAS.

In the same month, the average monthly income, composed of regular wages and non-regular wages such as overtime pay and bonuses, was NT $ 50,042, 3.90 percent less than the previous month, but 4.61 percent more than last year.

For the first ten months of this year, median regular wages and median monthly income increased 1.82 percent and 2.91 percent, respectively, to NT $ 43,088 and NT $ 56,387, respectively.

Adjusted for inflation, however, the average regular wages and the average monthly income rose by only 0.01 percent and 1.80 percent over the 10-month period.

(by Pan Tzu-yu and Frances Huang)

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