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New graduates see salaries decline

Due to lower starting wages, 63 percent of the graduates polled said that they planned to take a part-time job to supplement their incomes

The average starting salary received by new graduates this year in their first jobs fell about 4 percent from the same period last year, although the nation’s economy showed signs of improving, according to a survey released by the online 1111 Job Bank 1111 ( ) on Friday.

The Web site said the average starting wage received by new graduates was NT$26,250, down NT$1,074, or almost 4 percent, from the previous year.

1111 Job Bank vice president Daniel Lee said that despite signs of an economic recovery, the pace remains slow, which made first-time jobseekers cautious when looking for work.

Lee said that the lower starting salaries showed many new graduates preferred to first secure a job with lower remuneration, then set their sights on landing a job with a higher salary.

The fall in starting wages indicates that employers are tightening their belts before the minimum wage rises are implemented next year, he said.

The monthly wage is to rise from NT$20,008 to NT$21,009, while the hourly wage is to increase from NT$126 to NT$133.

The hike in the minimum wage is expected to increase basic employee salaries and overtime pay, which means many employers have cut packages for newcomers, he 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 incomes.

The Web site said part-time jobs — such as translators, tutors at cram schools or online vendors — often have more flexible work hours.

The survey showed that about 80 percent of respondents had landed a job, up 15 percentage points from a similar survey conducted last year.

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

The Web site said that the service industry, the IT business and the retail sector were the three most attractive industries for new graduates.

The survey, conducted from Nov. 9 to Wednesday last week, has a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

In related news, the Ministry of Labor on Saturday said that several retailers have joined a government campaign aimed at recruiting new workers as the peak year-end shopping season is approaching.

The ministry’s Workforce Development Agency is planning to hold a job fair in collaboration with retailers next month to help them hire the nearly 5,000 additional workers needed.

The agency’s TaiwanJobs recruitment platform also helps retailers, such as liquor chain Drinks Wines & Spirits Co, home furnishing chain Test Rite Retail Co, supermarket chain Wellcome and organic food provider Cotton Field Organic Co, attract new employees online, the ministry said.

The retailers require full-time cashiers, sales staff, warehouse workers and part-time workers, the ministry said.

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