At least 14 province-level administrative entities in China have made upwards adjustments to their minimum wage levels since the start of the year.
According to the People’s Daily these 14 provinces include Shanghai, Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shandong, Henan, Xinjiang, Sichuan, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Yunnan, Tibet, Liaoning and Anhui.
Following the adjustments six provinces provide workers with minimum monthly wages of over 2000 yuan, including Shanghai, Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, while four provinces provide minimum hourly wages of over 20 yuan, including Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong.
Shanghai is host to the highest monthly minimum wage at 2420 yuan, while Beijing, provides the highest hourly wage at 24 yuan.
China’s minimum wages now vary significantly based on geographic location, with the first grade monthly minimum wage in the province of Hainan 990 yuan less than the minimum wage in Shanghai, at 1430 yuan.
Su Hainan (苏海南), vice-head of the China Labour Studies Association (中国劳动学会), said that the reason for the inconsistencies in minimum wages was due to disparities in levels of economic development, average income levels and prices for goods.
While per capita disposable income stood at 58,987.96 yuan in Shanghai last year, in Hainan it was just 22,553.24 yuan.
These disparities are apparent even within provinces such as Guangdong, where the minimum monthly wage is 2100 yuan in the capital city of Guangzhou, yet in other cities such as Shaoguan, Heyuan, Meizhou and Shanwei can be as low as 1410 yuan.