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By December 1, 2020, only three provinces had increased their minimum wage standards in the year. The number of provinces and cities that adjusted their minimum wage standards in 2020 declined drastically compared to the previous two years. The average growth rate of monthly minimum wage standards in 2020 is about 7.21%.

SAFEGUARDS | Labor StandardsNO. 002/21

 SG 00221 Working

The legal minimum wage is the lowest amount which employers may pay to employees for 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 two types – a monthly minimum wage or an hourly minimum wage. The monthly minimum wage applies to full-time employees, and the hourly minimum wage applies to others such as part-time and temporary employees. 

By December 1, 2020, only three provinces (Fujian Province, Qinghai Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) had increased their minimum wage standards in the last year, and they were all implemented before March 1, 2020. As the table below shows, Fujian adjusted the class of areas from five to four, and the monthly minimum wage for these four classes of area were raised to CNY 1,800, CNY 1,720, CNY 1,570 and CNY 1,420 respectively, with the growth rate of each class between 2.9% to 5.9%. Meanwhile, their hourly minimum wages for part-time employment were adjusted to CNY 18.5, CNY 18, CNY 16.5 and CNY 15 respectively. In Qinghai, only the monthly minimum wage was raised, to CNY 1,700 with an increase of 13.3%, the hourly minimum wage is still CNY 15.2. The monthly minimum wage in Guangxi for three classes was increased to CNY 1810, CNY 1580 and CNY 1430, which were all increased by CNY 130. In addition, the hourly rates were increased too, to CNY 17.5, CNY 15.3 and CNY 14 respectively.

Further information is listed in the following table: (sorted by Class area from highest to lowest):

Provinces/
Cities
Class Effective 
Date
Monthly (full-time)  Hourly (part-time)
2020 (CNY)
2019 (CNY)  Increase 
rate (%)
2020 (CNY)
2019 (CNY)  Increase 
rate (%)
Guangxi Zhuang 
autonomous region
A 2020/03/01
1810
1680
(2018 data)
7.7%
17.5

16
(2018 data)
9.4%
B 1580
1450
(2018 data)
9%
15.3
14
(2018 data)
9.3%
C 1430
 

1300
(2018 data)
10%
 

14
12.5
(2018 data)
12%
  A   1800
1700
(2017 data)
5.9%
18.5
18
(2017 data)
2.8%
B 1720
1650
(2017 data)
4.2%
18
17.50
(2017 data)
2.9%
C 1570
1500
(2017 data)
4.7%
16.5
16
(2017 data)
3.1%
D 1420
1380
(2017 data)
2.9%
15
14.6
(2017 data)
2.7%
E 1280
(2017 data)

13.6
(2017 data)
Qinghai 
province
A 2020/01/01
1700
1500
(2017 data)
13.3%
15.2
15.2
(2017 data)
0

Remarks: *The monthly minimum wage and hourly minimum wage standards in Fujian Province were adjusted to four levels. 
**A, B, C, D mean regional level in each province.

Fifteen provinces and cities raised their minimum wage standards in 2018, and seven in 2019. The minimum wage standard is aimed at not only the protection of workers’ legitimate rights, but also the development of enterprises. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic this year, the business of many enterprises suffered. Therefore, the number of provinces and cities that adjusted their minimum wage standards in 2020 declined drastically compared to the previous two years.

As of 2019, the minimum wage in Shanghai City has been adjusted every year for 10 years. However, Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau announced on June 19 that the minimum wage standard in Shanghai would not be adjusted in 2020. The monthly minimum wage standard is maintained at CNY 2,480, the same as 2019. Beijing City, Tianjin City and Shandong Province issued notices on the suspension of the adjustment of their minimum wage standards in 2020. According to the regulation of Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the minimum wage standard should be adjusted every two or three years. By December 1, nine provinces and cities had not adjusted the minimum wage standards for over three years, including Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Jilin, Heilongjiang, Zhejiang, Hubei, Gansu and Ningxia.

The monthly minimum wage standards of A Class regions in six provinces and cities are above CNY 2,000, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Jiangsu and Zhejiang. Shanghai ranks first with CNY 2,480, while the monthly minimum wages in A Class region of Anhui is CNY 1,550, ranking last. There is a huge gap of CNY 930 between these two regions, which indicates that the inequality of income distribution in China still needs improvement.

Current minimum wage standards and their effective dates of 31 provinces and cities in China:

Provinces/
City
Effective
Date
Monthly (full-time)
Hourly (part-time)
Class A
(CNY)
Class B
(CNY)
Class C
(CNY)
Class D
(CNY)
Class A
(CNY)
Class B
(CNY)
Class C
(CNY)
Class D
(CNY)
Beijing  07/01/2019  2200        24      
Tianjin
 07/01/2017  2200        20.8      
Hebei
 11/01/2019  1900  1790
 1680  1580  19  18  17  16
Shanxi
 10/01/2017  1700  1600
 1500  1400  18.5  17.4  16.3  15.2
Inner
Mongolia
 01/08/2017  1760  1660  1560  1460  18.6  17.6  16.5  15.5
Liaoning
 11/01/2019  1810  1610  1480  1300  18.3  16.3  15  13.2
Jilin
 10/01/2017  1780  1680  1580  1480  17  16  15  14
Heilongjiang
 10/01/2017  1680  1450  1270    16  13  12  
Shanghai
 04/01/2019  2480        22      
Jiangsu
 08/01/2018  2020  1830  1620    18.5  16.5  14.5  
Zhejiang
 12/01/2017  2010  1800  1660  1500  18.4  16.5  15  13.6
Anhui
 11/01/2018  1550  1380  1280  1180  18  16  15  14
Fujian
 01/01/2020  1800  1720  1570  1420  18.5  18  16.5  15
Jiangxi
 01/01/2018  1680  1580  1470    16.8  15.8  14.7  
Shandong
 06/01/2018  1910  1730  1550    19.1  17.3  15.5  
Henan
 10/01/2018  1900  1700  1500    19  17  15  
Hubei
 11/01/2017  1750  1500  1380  1250  18  16  14.5  13
Hunan
 10/01/2019  1700  1540  1380  1220  17  15  13.5  12.5
Guangdong
 07/01/2018  2100  1720  1550  1410  20.3  16.4  15.3  14
Shenzhen
 2200        20.3      
Guangxi
 03/01/2020  1810  1580  1430    17.5  15.3  14  
Hainan
 12/01/2018  1670  1570  1520    15.3  14.4  14  
Chongqing
 01/01/2019  1800  1700      18  17    
Sichuan
 07/01/2018  1780  1650  1550    18.7  17.4  16.3  
Guizhou
 12/01/2018  1790  1670  1570    18.6  17.5  16.5  
Yunnan
 05/01/2018  1670  1500  1350    15  14  13  
Tibet
 01/01/2018  1650        16      
Shaanxi
 05/01/2019  1800  1700  1600    18  17  16  
Gansu
 06/01/2017  1620  1570  1520  1470  17  16.5  15.9  15.4
Qinghai
 01/01/2020  1700        15.2      
Ningxia
 10/01/2017  1660  1560  1480    15.5  14.5  13.5  
Xinjiang
 01/01/2018  1820  1620  1540  1460  18.2  16.2  15.4  14.6

Additionally, the Beijing Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau issued the wage guideline for 13 industries on November 23, 2020. The security line of minimum wage for Beijing is stipulated as CNY 26,400, CNY 480 more than 2019. In the face of the severe impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on both enterprises and workers, some provinces and cities not only slowed down the adjustment of the minimum wage standards, but also took some relevant measures, such as extending the period of policy on deduction and exemption of social insurance premiums for enterprises, and expanding the coverage of unemployment insurance. These measures can guarantee workers’ income, as well as relieving the burdens of enterprises, which might help enterprises get through the difficult period.

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

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