China's coastal regions raise wages, even out inequities

13:49, June 08, 2010      

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After Jiangsu province took the lead in adjusting the minimum wage standard this year, Zhejiang, Guangdong and Shanghai followed suit shortly thereafter.

Minimum wages were increased by more than 10 percent on average and some provinces increased their standards by more than 20 percent.

A characteristic in this round of wage increases is that, apart from an absolute increase of wages, focus will be put on the adjustment of the low-wage population's income level to narrow the income gap between regions inside a given province with different development levels.

In February 2010, Jiangsu implemented the new minimum wage standards, with the minimum wage reaching 110 yuan per month. On April 1, Shanghai and Zhejiang also adjusted their minimum wage standards. The monthly minimum wage in Shanghai will be increased from 960 yuan to 1,120 yuan, and the hourly minimum wage will be increased from 8 yuan to 9 yuan.

This was the 17th adjustment of the minimum wage in Shanghai, a 17 percent increase. At present, Shanghai's monthly minimum wage standard is the highest in China.

Zhejiang provincial government has introduced four monthly minimum wage standards: 1,100 yuan, 980 yuan, 900 yuan and 800 yuan. The hourly minimum wage for part-time workers also has four new standards: 9.0 yuan, 8.0 yuan, 7.3 yuan, and 6.5 yuan. The minimum wage has increased by around 15 percent on average in Zhejiang, while it has increased by over 20 percent on average in Guangdong province.

According to an official from the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Guangdong province, Guangdong had previously only increased the minimum wage mainly in the Pearl River Delta, and wage standards remained low in the underdeveloped areas. Guangdong has shifted its focus of minimum wage adjustments to those underdeveloped areas. In particular, it has targeted the eastern, western and northern parts of Guangdong province.

The growth rate of the minimum wage in these areas has exceeded the provincial average level, and the minimum wage in northern Guangdong's Shaoguan has risen from 580 yuan per month to 710 yuan.

Lin Wangping, deputy director of the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Guangdong province, explained that the adjustment of the minimum wage meets the needs of social and economic development in Guangdong, neutralizes the widening income gap between the underdeveloped areas and the Pearl River Delta and improves Guangdong's employment environment.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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