Wages and employment | China Labour Bulletin
Wage levels in China have increased steadily over the last decade; driven by rapid economic growth and declining population growth. Fewer young people are entering the workforce and those that do have higher expectations. Workers have become better organized and employers in many sectors have been forced to pay higher wages in order to recruit and retain staff.
Source. National Bureau of Statistics.
There has been near double digit growth in the national average annual wage for urban employees since 2004, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, with the average wage reaching 56,339 yuan in 2014 (around US$9,000). See chart above. By 2012, many commentators had already declared the end of cheap labour in China. However, these headlines and the official statistics mask huge disparities between different industries, geographic regions, urban and rural areas, as well as between senior managers and ordinary workers. The minimum wage in China has never been a living wage, and employees on the minimum wage usually have to rely on excessive overtime and production bonuses just to get by. Moreover, as economic growth has slowed in recent years, more and more businesses are defaulting on wage payments in a blatant violation of the Labour Law.
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