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February 28, 2012

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City's bottom wage to rise 13 percent

SHANGHAI'S minimum monthly wage will be raised by 13.3 percent to 1,450 yuan (US$230) starting in April.

It comes as good news to low-income laborers, as they are most vulnerable to Shanghai's overall Consumer Price Index, which rose 5.2 percent in 2011 from a year earlier while food prices soared 10.8 percent.

The city government said yesterday that Shanghai's bottom wage level will be improved from 1,280 to 1,450 yuan per month starting April 1.

The new adjustments also include a change to the hourly wage rate. The local government ruled that the minimum hourly wage in Shanghai would also be promoted from 11 yuan to 12.5 yuan. Domestic helpers, or ayi, are among the group to benefit from the new policy.

Some janitors and security guards, jobs that mostly go to middle-aged locals and migrant laborers, said they were happy to see the change as they were now paid not more than 1,500 yuan each month. They expect the hiking of the minimum wage could lead to improvement in their monthly income, as well, as they are under heavy pressure of rising living costs in the city.

It marked the 19th time the city government had raised the minimum wage since 1993, and it will keep Shanghai among the highest minimum-wage cities in China.

Last April, the minimum monthly wage was increased by 160 yuan to 1,280 yuan with the hourly wage improving from 9 to 11 yuan.


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