Why have Taiwanese salaries stagnated?

I’m just curious what has made salaries on the island so low, especially for local Taiwanese? Shouldn’t salaries that are too low actually hurt profit in the long term?

What are some of the reasons wages haven’t adjusted here?



Greedy bosses realizing they can get away with paying people a pittance and not caring if they get a wank level of work. It’s even worse for South East Asian workers — wanna come and be on call 24/7 to wipe granny’s arse with one day off in a blue moon for 20k NT a month. Taiwan’s your place.

It’s why I know there is ABSOLUTELY Zero chance of Taiwan ever adopting a four day work week.

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Because it’s a fictional stagnation. For example since 2010 Taiwanese salaries pretty much grew exactly as much as Canada in local currencies, all the while NTD got 50 percent stronger comparatively as well.

because the traditional industries have very little added value here apart from low cost.
TW cant compete on cost with CN or VN, hence salaries are low to and stagnant to be competitive.
in industries where there is added value (like semiconductor ) the salaries are good.

Where can I get one for 20k a month? My wife needs a nanny… (no joke)

Do you think that Taiwan could replace some of these manufacturing industries with highly skilled services like in the IT and sciences sectors? Would that help fix wages?

I know the it industry here also has insanely low salaries, so I’m not sure why salaries are so low for high skilled labor as well

salaries are raising a lot right now. Pretty much everybody is expecting at minimum a 5% raise and big bonuses. Hiring new people is also very hard.


I thought that was just for government employees?

Nope, some private businesses I know are factoring in inflation to adjust peoples salaries this year. They have been doing that previously, but the hike is bigger this year.

Of course in a private business that is not mandatory, I’m sure there are plenty who had a bad year and will resist doing it and those who are just greedy.

AFAIK it’s not actually 20k. They must be paid min wage at the least but when they are recruited they are contractually obligated to pay the recruiter a certain amount over a couple years so their take home is lower for the duration of that obligation.

average salary in Taiwan compared to South Korea and Japan in 2020

The average regular monthly salary in Taiwan was NT$42,498
The average regular monthly salary in South Korea was NT$84,536
The average regular monthly salary in Japan was NT$64,159

I think your South Korean figure is off. Anywhere I look South Korea is about equal to Taiwan, not twice as much. And average salary in SK is certainly not 50% as much as Japan. That would lead to massive waves of suicide in Japan, much like in Canada if Canadian health care was ever found to be more expensive than the US.

• South Korea: average annual wage 2020 | Statista.

The OECD one is PPP adjusted not nominal value.


I’m skeptical, I’ve been following similar discussions since 2006 and very little progress has been made.

I’ve been here nearly twenty years, and based on what I’ve seen now is not the “stagnated salary” era. That was throughout the early 2000s. There are multiple reasons why, but the most obvious ones are the tighter integration of Taiwan’s economy with China’s along with the Chen era importation of large numbers of migrant workers. Both undercut the bargaining power of workers in Taiwan, with a predictable impact on salaries.

Finally we’re breaking out of this model . . .



Yeah the era of stagnation is over, reason being strong investment , economic growth and plummeting supply of workers. Supply and demand.
Agree with Afters that the wholesale movement of investment to China at the start of the 2000s was very bad for local salaries. , Almost all the new positions were in China.


Salaries aren’t in stagnation. It appears so, cause of complicated accounting, where salaries are paid together with quarterly, half yearly, yearly and probably decade long postponed bonuses.

They love to scam a state for few % and maybe employees leave before being paid their 3rd year bonus.

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I get a free lunchbox in my monthly meeting.