According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, at the end of June, the minimum wage was adjusted upwards in 16 provinces and cities. The increase averaged 19.7 percent over 2011. Currently Shen Zhen has the highest monthly minimum wage of 1500 yuan per month, while Beijing has the highest minimum hourly rate of 14 yuan per hour.
According to Su Hainan of the Committee on Labor Compensation of China’s Labor Association, the increase in 2012 was less than the 22 percent increase of 2011 over 2010, but it was still within expectations. Su said, “The standard of the minimum wage is a double edged sword. If it increases too slowly, it will affect worker’s basic living standards, but if it increases too fast, it will have a negative effect on the economy, especially now that we have a labor surplus compared to market demand.”
Currently the standard minimum wage varies greatly between regions; the minimum wage is still determined by each local region. Su observed, “In the long term, the fundamental solution is to resolve the unbalanced economic development between regions by investing more and promoting economic development in those regions that are behind, such as the middle western region.”
Source: Xinhua, July 29, 2012