Shandong to raise minimum wage in March

Updated: 2012-02-28 17:30


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JINAN - East China's Shandong province will raise its minimum monthly wage by up to 19 percent in March in a bid to attract workers and buffer rising living costs, local authorities said Tuesday.

The minimum monthly salaries for full-time workers will be raised to 1,240 yuan ($197), 1,100 yuan and 950 yuan, respectively, in regions at different levels of development, the provincial government said in a statement.

The government will strive to form a reasonable salary distribution system with planned annual wage increases of at least 13 percent in the years to 2015, a move that will also help bridge the income gap, according to the local development plan for human resources and social security (2011-2015).

Severe labor shortages, sporadic strikes and rising living costs in cities have prompted wage hikes throughout China over the past two years.

China's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, rose 5.4 percent year-on-year in 2011, driven by an 11.8-percent surge in food prices, official data showed.

Twenty-four provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities raised their minimum monthly wages by an average of 22 percent last year, according to Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security.

The southern manufacturing city of Shenzhen led another round of wage hikes this year. It raised its minimum monthly wage by 13.6 percent to 1,500 yuan, the country's highest, starting this month, in hopes of wooing migrant workers from inland regions to help ease labor shortages.

With the industry transfer, many migrants now choose to work at factories closer to their homes, rather than those in faraway coastal regions like Shenzhen and Shandong. This has left many factories in the traditional eastern manufacturing centers short of laborers, and has pushed local governments to roll out compulsory wage hikes to help compete for workers.

China as a whole aims to increase the nationwide minimum monthly wage by 13 percent annually before 2015, according to a central government plan announced early this month.