In 2015, 724,000 Taiwanese citizens worked abroad, bringing the three-year average to 720,000 people working abroad each year, according to the National Development Council (NDC). The number of citizens working abroad has doubled in the last 10 years, with 340,000 working abroad in 2005. The figure is a slight decline from 2014 when 726,000 Taiwanese worked abroad.
The NDC cited an increase in short-term overseas work assignments for the increase in the number of workers abroad and encouraged those with overseas experience to repatriate and help improve the domestic economy.
Other factors for the increased number of people working abroad are stagnant domestic salaries and young workers’ desire to gain international experience. As more Taiwanese companies set up manufacturing bases and offices abroad, they have sent employees abroad on assignments. In addition, some citizens also move abroad for relationship reasons.
The NDC said workers who stayed in a single country for more than 180 days fluctuated between 430,00 and 470,000 from 2009 to 2015. However, those staying fewer than 180 days or even only 90 days for short-term assignments increased from 200,000 to 260,000.
The NDC also noted that 70% of Taiwanese working abroad have university degrees and are mainly white-collar workers.
According to statistics, 58% of those working abroad are based in mainland China.
Meanwhile, according to Ministry of Labor statistics, more than 20,000 foreign white-collar workers have come to work in Taiwan each year in the past three years.