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The adjustment of the minimum wage is closely related to the social and economic development. Over the past two years, minimum wage adjustments have tended to be steady and conservative.

SAFEGUARDS | Labor Standards NO. 005/18

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The legal minimum wage is the lowest amount which the employers may pay to the employees based on work performed within the legal standard working hours or specific working hours in accordance with their employment contract. According to the new Provisions on Minimum Wage, the minimum wage is one of 2 types- the monthly minimum wage and hourly minimum wage, and it should be updated at least every two years.

The adjustment of the minimum wage is closely related to the social and economic development. Over the past two years, minimum wage adjustments have tended to be steady and conservative. The official data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) & the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security showed that only 9 regions increased the minimum wage in 2016. However, in the year to December 2017, 20 regions adjusted their minimum wage with an average increase rate of 9.69%, which is higher than the previous year.

2016-2017 Minimum Wage Updates (ranked by wage level)

Region Provinces/cities Effective date Monthly(fulltime)
2016 (CNY) 2017 (CNY) Increase rate(%)
Eastern Region Shanghai 2017/4/1 2190 2300 5%
Shenzhen 2017/6/1 2030 (2015 Data) 2130 4.9%
Zhejiang 2017/12/1 1860 (2015 Data) 2010 8%
Tianjin 2017/7/1 1950 2050 5.1%
Beijing 2017/9/1 1890 2000 5.8%
Jiangsu 2017/7/1 1770 (Not include Suzhou) 1890 6.8%
Shandong 2017/6/1 1710 1810 5.8%
Fujian 2015/7/1 1500 (2015 Data) 1700 13.3%
Northeast Region Heilongjiang 2017/10/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1680 13.5%
Jilin 2017/10/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1780 20.3%
Central Region Hubei 2017/11/1 1550 (2015 Data) 1750 12.9%
Shanxi 2017/10/1 1620 (2015 Data) 1700 4.9%
Hunan 2017/7/1 1390 (2015 Data) 1580 13.7%
Henan 2017/10/1 1600 (2015 Data) 1720 7.5%
Western Region Inner Mongolia 2017/8/1 1640 (2015 Data) 1760 7.3%
Guizhou 2017/7/1 1600 (2015 Data) 1680 5%
Ningxia 2017/10/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1660 12.2%
Shanxi 2017/5/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1680 13.5%
Gansu 2017/6/1 1470 (2015 Data) 1620 10.2%
Qinghai 2017/5/1 1270 (2014 Data) 1500 18.1%
Guizhou 2017/7/1 1600 (2015 Data) 1680 5%
Ningxia 2017/10/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1660 12.2%
Shanxi 2017/5/1 1480 (2015 Data) 1680 13.5%
Gansu 2017/6/1 1470 (2015 Data) 1620 10.2%
Qinghai 2017/5/1 1270 (2014 Data) 1500 18.1%

For detailed information of the different regions, cities and towns, please refer to: SGS China’s Minimum Wage Map [1] , or add an App

SGS CRS SafeGuardS 00518 Figure 1 749 192 

During the economic downturn, and considering the costs, benefits and other factors, some local governments have started to adjust the minimum wage range “reasonably” and to extend the adjustment period for minimum wages from every 2 years to up to every 3 years.

From the above table, the minimum wage varies greatly. The areas with the highest minimum wage are mostly developed coastal areas. The monthly minimum payments in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Zhejiang, Tianjin and Beijing have broken through the CNY2000 ceiling, with the minimum wage in Shanghai at CNY2300, the highest in China. In contrast, the minimum wage in the western region is lower. In addition, some provinces have begun to merge several grades into one grade. For example, Qinghai province has adjusted the monthly minimum wage of the whole province to CNY1500.

The increase of minimum wages is very important for ensuring and improving the basic livelihood of lower-income people and their dependents, and it will also drive the salary increases of other positions and overtime pay base. At the same time, benefits and increments linked to the minimum wage will rise accordingly.  According to “Guidelines for the adjustment of unemployment insurance” issued by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) & the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security and Treasury this year, the unemployment insurance benefit will gradually be increasing to 90% of the minimum wage. If this is carried through, the local unemployment social insurance premiums and related benefits increase accordingly.

Data source: Human Resources and Social Security department (bureau) websites of provinces and cities listed in the table

Table design: SGS SAS [2]

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