China City Hikes Minimum Wage 12%, But Many Still Upset

Despite a 12% raise in the minimum wage for the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, giving it the highest such pay floor in the country, some residents voiced dissatisfaction, citing soaring prices there. Shenzhen, which neighbors Hong Kong and enjoys special-economic-zone status, is set to hike the minimum monthly wage for full-time employees to 2,030 yuan ($325), starting March 1, while the minimum hourly wage would be raised to 18.50 yuan, according to an announcement Thursday on the city government's official site. However, the move drew some criticism on social media by those who said that to meet basic living expenses, an ordinary worker in Shenzhen has to earn at least 2,426 yuan a month, according to a report in the government-run Southern Metropolis Daily. At the same time, the city's manufacturing and other labor-intensive sectors such as services may also suffer from the rising wages, including at foreign-backed enterprises. Shenzhen's minimum monthly wage has risen more than eight-fold in the past 23 years, the report said.

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