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September 5, 2012

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Shanghai service workers earn top salaries

CHEFS, hair dressers and maternity nannies are among the best-paid skilled service workers in Shanghai as it tops the other mainland cities in pay for the new blue-collar group, said a survey released yesterday.

An average skilled laborer in Shanghai earns 3,479 yuan (US$548) each month, more than double the city's mandatory minimum wage.

The figure also surpasses the national average for such workers by nearly 30 percent, according to the survey by the website

Shanghai is famed for its booming cuisine market and passionate gourmands. And this is clearly reflected in the survey result as chefs, among all types of blue-collar service workers, are the top wage earners in Shanghai.

Compared with Shanghainese, residents from other cities seem more fond of spending leisure hours getting a massage as masseurs and masseuses are the best paid skilled service workers nationwide, the survey found.

In Shanghai, hair-dressers, chauffeurs and maternity nannies who look after new moms and their infants, in that order, are the next three best-paid skilled service laborers, the survey showed.

"This is a typical clue to indicate that Shanghai is more economically developed and has an advanced demand for skillful professionals in the service sectors," said Gu Xiaoming, a sociologist and professor with Fudan University.

"The result proves that the local economy is turning increasingly consumption-oriented instead of fueled by labor-intensive industries.

Good chefs and maternity nannies will be paid even higher in the future as the city is full of unhesitating spenders on tasteful cuisines and quality domestic help service," Gu added.

Cities differ vastly in their best paid skilled laborers. Salespersons and shopping guides, for example, earn the best salaries among blue-collar service workers in Beijing.
Ayis, or domestic helpers, are the best paid in this group in Guangzhou while it's courier workers in Shenzhen.

The survey also showed that Beijing is the most sought-after mainland city for blue-collar job seekers, and that 65.8 percent of blue-collar laborers are working outside their hometowns.

The survey is based on salaries of skilled laborers who mostly work in service-related sectors instead of on the construction sites or assembly lines. It covers 30,995 respondents from 41 major mainland cities.


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