According to an article that People’s Daily published, by July 15, 2017, 11 provinces and cities had raised their minimum wage. The statistics disclosed that both the number of provinces that had a minimum wage increase and the rate of increase were lower than in the past. Take Beijing as an example. The rate of the increase in the minimum wage was only 5.8 percent this year while the rate of the increase in Shanghai was 5 percent. Most regions have minimum wage increases once every two years. Some regions have changed it to once every three years.
The article reported that, in 2012, 25 regions had wage increases that averaged 20.2 percent. In 2013, 27 regions had increases at a rate averaging 17 percent. In 2014 19 regions had increases that averaged 14.1 percent. In 2015 24 regions had increases of 14 percent. In 2016, 9 regions had increases that averaged 10.7 percent. The article cited the reasons for the reduced rate of the wage increases as slowed economic growth in recent years as well as the intent to ease the pressure on businesses in order to maintain their cost competitiveness. According to the list of the minimum wage in 31 regions mentioned in the article, the minimum wage gap varies between regions with those along the coastline ranked in the top five minimum wage regions including Shanghai, Tianjing, Beijing, Guangdong and Jiangsu. The regions in the Southwest, Northwest, and Northeast have a relatively lower minimum wage. The bottom two regions are Tibet and Guangxi Province where the minimum wage of the level 4 job category in Guangxi is only 1,000 yuan (US$141). That amount is less than half of the minimum wage in Shanghai which is 2,300 yuan (US$330).
Source: People’s Daily, July 16, 2017