China to narrow income gap with wage hike

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China will raise its minimum wage at least 13 percent annually from 2011 to 2015, according to a plan issued by the State Council, or the Cabinet, on February 8, 2012.

A migrant worker in east China receives his wage. [File photo]

The national employment promotion plan stipulates that by 2015, the minimum wage should be lifted to at least 40 percent of the average Chinese citizen's salary.

According to statistics, China raised its minimum wage by an average of 12.5 percent every year during the 2006-2010 period.

The proportion of the minimum wage to the average salary varies in different places, ranging from about 20 percent to 30 percent. In Beijing, the minimum wage is 1,260 yuan ($200) a month, and in downtown Chongqing municipality, 870 yuan.

According to the five-year wage plan, the country will continue and further reform its income distribution mechanism and encourage enterprises to set up scheduled salary increases by promoting collective negotiation on wages.

The government plans to extend collective bargaining to cover 80 percent of corporate work units in the country by 2015. The figure was 50 percent at the end of 2010, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The employment promotion blueprint also promises to make adjustments to income distribution in some industries to close the income gap.

The plan also aims to create 45 million jobs and keep the registered urban unemployment rate within 5 percent.

(China Daily contributed to this story.)

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