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China Seeks Nationwide Minimum Wage Increases

Authorities are encouraging other provinces to adjust their minimum wage standards following raises in Shanghai, Chongqing and Shaanxi Province earlier this year

By Zhang Qingchen Updated May.15

Following the success of Chongqing, Shanghai and other places in China earlier this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security is encouraging other cities and provinces to raise their minimum wages, news portal jiemian.com reported. 
In January, Southwest China’s city of Chongqing increased its minimum monthly wage by 300 yuan (US$44) to at least 1,400 yuan (US$204). Shanghai followed in April, raising monthly wages 60 yuan (US$9) to 2,480 yuan (US$361), and increasing hourly wages 1 yuan (US$0.16) to 22 yuan (US$3). 
Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province set three standards for full-time minimum wages. Since May, the lowest minimum wage for full-time workers is 1,600 yuan (US$232) per month. 
Fu Yifu, a senior analyst at the Suning Institute of Finance, told jiemian.com that adjusting minimum wage standards in different regions could provide basic financial security for low-income groups and ease the widening income gap. 
The move would also improve people’s purchasing power and further unleash the economy’s consumption potential, Fu said, adding that from a business standpoint, higher minimum wages would increase enthusiasm and productivity among workers.
Fu also urged authorities to consider long-term sustainability and make wage adjustments that also correlate with GDP growth, increased productivity of labor-intensive enterprises and fluctuations in the consumer price index.