Taiwan will postpone an increase in the monthly minimum wage next year as the economy slows, prompting the labor minister to offer her resignation.
The 1.4 percent increase, which was due at the start of next year, will be delayed until the island registers two consecutive quarters of economic growth above 3 percent or if the jobless rate falls below 4 percent for two months, Premier Sean Chen said in a press briefing in Taipei today.
Taiwan’s economy grew 0.4 percent in the first quarter and contracted 0.18 percent in the second quarter. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 4.29 percent last month. Labor Minister Wang Ju-hsuan, speaking to legislators and reporters, said she offered her resignation after the delay.
“I will discuss with the minister and hope she can stay to work together,” Chen said. A planned increase in the hourly minimum wage will take effect as planned from Jan. 1, he said.
The Council of Labor Affairs on Aug. 9 proposed increasing the minimum monthly wage to NT$19,047 ($648) and lifting the hourly wage to NT$109 from NT$103.
Taiwan last month cut its growth forecast for 2012 to 1.66 percent from 2.08 percent previously, as Europe’s debt crisis and a faltering U.S. recovery crimped exports. The island’s consumer price index rose 3.42 percent in August from a year earlier, the fastest pace in four years, after typhoons damaged crops and pushed up food costs.
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