hina’s National Bureau of Statistics issued a report on rural workers at the end of April, saying that the number of rural workers, defined as those who hold a rural residence permit but who have been doing a non-farming job locally or outside their hometowns for at least six months, had reached 286.5 million at the end of 2017, 1.7 percent more than at the end of 2016.
Among the rural workers, those who have migrated out of their hometowns accounted for nearly 60 percent of the total, but its growth is decreasing compared to that of local rural workers.
The report said that more than 55 percent of rural workers were concentrated in East China where the GDP is relatively high. However, after the government issued preferential policies to help boost western China, there has been faster growth in the number of migrants in western regions. At the end of 2017, the number of rural workers in West China, including locals and migrants, had risen to 57.5 million, 20.1 percent of the total.
The report also indicated that the average wages of rural workers are growing steadily. Compared to that of 2016, the 2017 average monthly wage of rural workers grew by 6.4 percent to 3,485 yuan (US$536), with salaries in the wholesale and retail sectors growing the fastest (7.4 percent), while the growth rate in manufacturing suffered the biggest decline of 2.4 percent.