Ugly Truths About Working in Taiwan


Yea he was an ass, glad I didn’t buy his book.


You gotta see thsi article from CNA. Please allow me to quote the whole thing:

Taipei, July 12 (CNA) More than 30 percent of Taiwanese in their thirties don’t have steady jobs while the majority of people in that age group are heavy in debt, according to a poll released Thursday by the 1111 Job Bank.

The poll conducted between June 26 and July 10 among 1,146 people between the ages of 18 to 39 found 32.72 percent of Taiwanese in their thirties don’t have steady jobs, including 24.6 percent who are unemployed and 8.12 percent who are freelancing. The survey also showed that their first monthly salary is only NT$25,930 (US$849.92) on average.

According to the poll, nearly 53 percent of Taiwanese in their thirties are heavy in debt. They need to pay NT$12,150 (US$398.25) per month in debt on average. In other words, 41.76 percent of their salary is used for the payment of debts.

Ho Chi-sheng (何啟聖), vice president of the job bank, said unemployment, low pay and working poverty have been the bane among the 30 somethings.

According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), Taiwanese in their thirties contributed the highest percentage of jobless people among all working age groups in Taiwan, while nearly half of those polled earn less than NT$30,000 (US$983.28).

Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of those aged 39 and below polled in the survey even made less than NT$30,000.

While people normally see their career takeoff at some point in their thirties, results of the survey have shown otherwise, to say the least, Ho said.

In such difficult times, the job bank executive advised young people in Taiwan to at least hold on to their jobs while acquiring new skills, rather than sit around and do nothing.

This may be their only way to get out of poverty because no money means no hope, he added.

Thta last line reminds me of a neighbor I buy furniture from. She has a hard working kid who helps them with furniture moving in his spare time. well, she asks me to help him find a better job. I mean, he’s fresh out of college, amkeing about a 1000 a day as a reporter. "His hardships? “he has to wake up at 5am to go to woek, salary is bad, bla bla”, says Mom, who is CONSTANTLY telling him to quit, that it is too hard, that she can’t stand to see him suffer. I just stare at her and think of what we call ni nis in Central America, kids that do not study nor work, but live off parents and eventually turn to a life of crime “because whorking is so hard and they want the jet set life”… of the rich kids who really do not work but live off their parents… Get the picture?


Yea I read that article yesterday…totally agree basically says what I see everyday around me and on TW news. Startling statistics but can’t say im surprised. Its worse than I thought. Part of becoming an adult used to be making enough to be self sufficient, eventually own a house, take care of parents, save money for retirement, have money for kids…Not in Taiwan, not anymore. Hopefully people will take up and push for change, not sure what the solution is though as the problems are many.


Really one of the big cultural differences


Well, since some are in a sour mood on Friday the 13th today…

鬼島, ghost island


I am scared for Taiwan. I have seen it before. On one hand you have overbearing overprotective parents that are connected…with a different reality. But on the other hand you have the bosses that treat all employees like scum/slaves, low salaries, very little opportunities for advancement and growth as an employee and as a person, a very dim local, regional and even gloobal outlook.

And yet you have the old military/teacher iron bowl complaining that they can’t live on 80k… mostly because they are supporting the next generation. Sigh. Oh and that with the new pension cuts, they wil have to go back to work at 70… or migrate.


“Taiwan isn’t suitable to live in. Only ghosts are willing to dwell in such a place,” You says, rubbing his face. The polluted, acrid air of Kaohsiung is stinging his eyes.

Yes, it’s a real hell on earth.

Meanwhile I enjoyed a fantastic ride to work this morning through beautiful mountain scenery and clean air. OK, day after a typhoon but still…


Something fishy going on in this article.

A) 25% seems like a awfully high number when the overall unemployment rate is somewhere around 3%. I suspect they didn’t exclude people who are currently studying from the poll. That would explain the high number of “unemployed”, freelancers, etc.

If you did a survey for people 70+ you would probably also get results saying 40% are unemployed, unless you exclude those who are retired.

B) 53% in debt does not sound like a particularly high number. A person who has purchased a property with a mortgage has a debt. Nor does 12k NTD a month repayment seem that high considering that a lot of this debt they are complaining about is for sure mortgages.

Seems like a BS survey.


Also, a lot of Taiwanese (like my wife) use credit cards linked to mileage plans of airlines (to get free tickets). That could be considered debt, too (that’s paid off the next month). If she can charge NT$5 on her card, she’ll do it, no matter what the product, ha.


Say no more.

It is a BS survey. It’s from 1111 for god’s sake.

And why isn’t this topic locked? Hasn’t it been two weeks?


Me thought so too.
One wonders if the numbers were confined to Over-the-Table employment, leaving out an enormous slice of the working population in night markets, small restaurants, etc.


More like they deliberately picked the group to survey and idiots totally buy it, which seems to be the case since it’s from 1111 and most jobs up there are part-time jobs for students and temps.

25% of unemployment … lmao. Give me a fucking break.


Don’t, it’ll be fine!

I wrote a super long paragraph about Taiwanese (grand)parents raising children and how these kids later behave as “adults” and employees, but I deleted it :wink:

I think it was @Rocket who said something like: The employees act like 5yr olds because the loaban micromanages them. And the laoban has to micromanage them, because they act like 5yr olds. I should have bookmarked that, very wise.


Not really, just a caring mother cos she can see it’s a no good job and getting at 5am is really a pain in the arse long term. I did it for a summer totally sucked.


Well of course unemployed people go to a job bank to look for a job.

I heard that Taiwan actually has a low unemployment rate at present.
We can look around and there are ads for retail and restaurant staff everywhere .

The real problem is the low pay and shit work conditions and few opps for advancement . That’s been the same story for 20 years since I came here pretty much .

Some people can get ahead always but it’s fighting the tide.

There’s a significant number of people who don’t want a permanent job or to work because their families are well off and subsidise them, give them a free house or at least free rent even though they are middle aged, free food all that …

But that mainly happens because of the really shit job market (in terms of $$$) which skews the reward to do fuck all for people who have some money in their family already.

The 30 something issue is because of the financial crisis. Study after study says that the generations who graduate in a recession period never really catch up on their earning power.


Ha, my mom would tell me to stop whining and get on with it. :grin:


Yeah I get you, my father would do the same. But long term it’s dispiriting and if there’s no future in it …
Notice the guy is a reporter on low wage and no prospects…I wouldn’t be happy with my kids in that situation either.


In May, the local unemployment rate fell 0.01 percentage points from a month earlier to 3.63 percent, the lowest level since May 2015, when it stood at 3.62 percent, data compiled by the DGBAS showed.

It doesn’t mean things are great, but there are plenty of jobs at least for younger people .

Notice the unemployment rate was highest amongst grads, indicating to me it’s people who opt out for whatever reason.


3% are people who are looking for jobs and unemployed. 25% likely include people who’ve given up and left the job market altogether AKA no longer actively looking along with unemployed/actively looking. This descrepancy happens in the US Polls for unemployed too where they leave out people who no longer look for jobs. The 3% is not an accurate number. Its a trick utilized the world over to make their unemployment numbers look better than they actually are. 25% does sound really high and 3% sounds way too low.


So you’re suggesting that for unemployment figures, the whole world should start including those who aren’t looking for a job?

Lol. With the same methodology a ton of countries have >10% of unemployment. Trick my ass.