Date
20 November 2017
China has been improving the wages of its workers, shedding some of its appeal as a low-cost location for foreign firms. Photo: Bloomberg
China has been improving the wages of its workers, shedding some of its appeal as a low-cost location for foreign firms. Photo: Bloomberg

Fifteen Chinese provinces, cities raise minimum wages this year

Fifteen provinces and cities in China have raised minimum wages so far this year, with Shanghai, the nation’s biggest metropolis, topping the list, China News Service reported on Friday.

According to the report, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Shanxi, Gansu, Shandong, Sha’anxi, Qinghai and Guizhou provinces, the Inner Mongolia Autonomous region, and Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenzhen and Chongqing municipalities have hiked the minimum wages.

Shanghai now has the highest minimum monthly and hourly wage at 1,820 yuan (US$292) and 17 yuan respectively, the report said.

New minimum wages took effect in Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guizhou and Inner Mongolia from July 1. In Sichuan, the monthly minimum wage system has been streamlined to three levels from the previous four. The top tier has a minimum monthly wage of 1,400 yuan.

Meanwhile, the monthly minimum wages in Jiangxi and Inner Mongolia have been increased by 150 yuan and 160 yuan respectively, the report said.

Rising labor costs in China have prompted some foreign firms to relocate to other countries like Vietnam. Nevertheless, the wage gains have been moderating in recent years.

In 2011, twenty-four regions in China raised the minimum wages with an average hike of 22 percent. And 25 provinces and municipalities have increased the minim wages with an average rise of 20.2 percent in 2012. Last year, 27 regions adjusted the minimum wage with an average increase of 17 percent, according to data from Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The minimum wage of most regions will account for more than 40 percent of local employees’ average salary by 2015, according to a target set out by the top policymakers.

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JZ/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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