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China Daily Website

Knowledge still important for wages

Updated: 2013-07-12 23:20

A survey showed that the average starting salary for graduates is 2,000 yuan ($326) a month, hardly changed since 2010. Is knowledge valueless, a People's Daily column asked (excerpts below).

While an increasing number of companies complain about the rising wages of migrant workers, the situation does not look as good for college graduates. According to a survey, the average starting salary for college graduates lingers around 2,000 yuan a month, which hardly increased since 2010.

Many people have offered their advice regarding this issue. Some say that the government should set a new minimum wage floor for graduates, so that they won't think their knowledge is useless compared with migrant workers without diplomas.

It is not appropriate to reach this assertion from one survey only. Truly, many migrant workers are earning several times that of fresh graduates, but don't forget that the latter are new hands, while the former are often experienced workers who have toiled for possibly decades. The knowledge these graduates gained in college can grant them more space for promotion in both position and salary later on.

Actually, a more complete glance at the labor market will find that the starting salary for migrant workers is lower than that of their peers who have finished college education. Various reports and surveys show that the starting wage for young migrant workers can be as low as 700 to 800 yuan a month. It's unfair to compare the higher-income section of migrant workers to the lower-income section of college graduates.

Therefore it's also not appropriate and against market logic to set a special minimum wage floor for college graduates. Everybody has his own value in the market, and it's unfair to protect one part unless there is evidence showing their labor price is distorted. The market is fair and the college graduates should work hard to achieve their true value and be able to get future promotions.