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October 22, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

City firms spend most ever on staff

COMPANIES in Shanghai are spending more money on employees than ever before, a new survey revealed yesterday.

The median number of labor cost per person reached almost 100,000 yuan (US$15,047) last year, rising from the 96,800 yuan one year earlier, according to a survey by China International Intellectech Corp, a leading human resources service company.

The median is the middle value in an ordered set of values, in this case labor costs.

The survey, which targeted more than 500 international companies with headquarters or branches in the city, said the median number of last year's labor cost was 98,500 yuan per person, and 83,100 yuan of the labor cost was salary.

Companies in research and sales sectors had the highest labor costs, up to 166,700 yuan per employee. In other sectors, the figure was only 50,000 yuan.

Labor costs include salary, welfare, insurance, health care, year-end bonuses and training.

Compared to other fast-developing cities, such as Suzhou and Wuxi in Jiangsu Province and Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province, Shanghai has higher labor costs. The median number for labor costs was 80,300 yuan per person in Suzhou in 2009, and 98,000 yuan in Shenzhen.

Geng Junhua, a director with the company behind the survey, said one of the main reasons for the high labor costs was that the cost of living is already high in Shanghai. "Everything is expensive," said Geng.

Moreover, the city's industrial structure, mainly composed of advanced manufacturing, science research and finance services, requires high-quality professionals.

"Their salaries, of course, are much higher than those of ordinary workers," explained Geng.

Recent university graduates working for international companies are enjoying salaries of around 3,000 yuan a month - a 20 percent jump on the previous year.

But graduates with a masters degree found their incomes stayed at almost the same level as a year before, with an average monthly income of 3,750 yuan, according to the survey.

Due to good economic conditions, international companies in Shanghai offered average salary increases of 8.3 percent this year. Increases for next year are expected to reach 9 percent, the survey found.

Front line employees, such as workers and waiting staff, enjoyed the biggest salary increases - between 9 and 17 percent - and the trend is likely to continue next year.

Among all the companies which increased salaries, 10.6 percent have upped workers' salaries twice so far this year. That figure is expected to drop to 7.7 percent in 2011.

According to Geng, the companies surveyed are accelerating expansion in Shanghai and throughout the country, as the number of newly hired employees was almost double the number who resigned this year.

European companies had the highest number of new employees, with new staff accounting for 30.6 percent of their labor force.

For all companies questioned, on average 27.2 percent of employees had been hired this year, while 14.9 percent of the workforce had left.


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