Hainan to raise minimum wages by 32 percent
Starting on July 1, regions including Henan, Shenzhen, Shaanxi, Anhui and Hainan increased their minimum wage standards, and in all regions, with the exception of Shenzhen, wages increased by more than 20 percent.
Of those provinces, wages increased most in Hainan, which saw an increase of nearly 32 percent.
"The minimum wage was raised based on actual situations in different regions and by taking into account the stabilized economic development trend of this year and rising prices," said Su Hainan, vice president of the China Association for Labor Studies and president of the Remuneration Committee. "Moreover, this was done in order to better ensure the basic living conditions of low-income earners."
Unlike those provinces and cities which had increased their minimum wages in the first half of this year, the regions that raised wages on July 1 all increased them by more than 20 percent. For example, Anhui, Yunnan, Hunan and Henan saw increases of 26 percent, 22 percent, 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
"In recent years, China's minimum wage standard was far lower than the global average level. Although the minimum wage standards have been adjusted, there is still a lot of room for improvement," said Cai Jiming, director of the Political Economy Research Centre under Tsinghua University.
The minimum wage standards were determined after considering all kinds of comprehensive factors including the lowest costs of living for laborers and their families, the consumer price index, the social average wage growth rate, economic development level and employment status.
Su believes that the increase of the minimum wage standards will not bring negative effects on enterprises because the overall bearing capacity in regions has been fully considered. However, the pressure will probably exist in some small- and medium sized enterprises in the labor-intensive sectors.
Cai said the increase of the minimum wage standards will certainly impact local labor costs. Therefore, the government should provide more preferential policies to enterprises.
SOURCE: People's Daily Online
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