By Alexander Chipman Koty
On June 29, Beijing’s Human Resources and Social Security Bureau announced that the city will increase its minimum wage, effective September 1, 2018.
Beijing will increase the monthly minimum wage from RMB 2,000 (US$300.57) to RMB 2,120 (US$318.60), and the hourly minimum wage from RMB 22 (US$3.31) to RMB 24 (US$3.61).
The wage hike of RMB 120 (US$18.03) per month is similar to last year’s increase, when the city raised minimum wages by RMB 110 (US$16.53) per month.
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Given the cost of living in Beijing and the nature of its economy, most workers in the city are paid according to market rates rather than minimum wages.
Beijing is increasingly becoming a post-industrial economy, with services constituting over 80 percent of its GDP in 2017.
Once the minimum wage adjustment goes into force, Beijing will have the third highest minimum wage in the country.
Currently, Shanghai holds the highest minimum wage rate, at RMB 2,420 (US$363.69) per month, followed by Shenzhen, at RMB 2,200 (US$330.63) per month. Both cities increased their minimum wage in 2018.
Besides having the highest minimum wages, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen also have the highest average wages in China.
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Last year, the Chinese career platform Zhaopin reported that Beijing had an average monthly salary of RMB 9,942 (US$1,494.13) – the highest in China – followed by Shanghai at RMB 9,802 (US$1,473.09) and Shenzhen at RMB 8,892 (RMB 1,336.33).
In addition to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, other regions that have increased their minimum wages this year include: Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Shandong, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, and Xinjiang.
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