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Urban workers' average salary hike hits 6-year high
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Sound corporate performances and raised lowest salary levels lifted the average salary of China's employees working in cities and towns approach 25,000 yuan (3,561.3 U.S. dollars) in 2007, up 18.72 percent over the previous year, the biggest rise in the past six years.

According to the year's No. 1 statement released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday, the average salary increase hovered around 14 percent from 2001 to 2006. The 2007 average salary of urban workers was 24,932 yuan and the daily average was 99.31 yuan (14.15 U.S. dollars). Taking into account price rises, the average salary increase hit a six-year-high.

The average salary comprises the basic wage, bonus and all allowances and subsidies. It is often used as a reference by the government for nailing down the lowest salary standards and calculating social insurance premiums.

Analysts attributed the rise to strong corporate revenues and raised lowest salary levels across the nation.

According to statistics available, large state-owned enterprises chalked up an accumulative profit up to 2.3 trillion yuan (327.6 billion U.S. dollars) from January to November last year, up 36.7 percent over the corresponding period of 2006. Private enterprises enjoyed an even larger profit growth of 50.9 percent.

The average of the nation's lowest salary standards, which vary between provinces, rose by 30 to 64 percent in 2006 from two years earlier.

Last year, the average salary in Beijing reached 39,867 yuan (5,679.1 U.S. dollars), trailing those in Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen which all exceeded 30,000 (4,273.5 U.S. dollars).

Salary gaps still existed. In Beijing, people working in industries such as securities, banking and air transport obtained more than 100,000 yuan (14,245 U.S. dollars). While workers in the textile and agriculture industries had less than 20,000 yuan (2,849 U.S. dollars).

Even in the same industry, salaries are widely divergent. For instance, the highest average salary of employees in Beijing's securities companies exceeded one million yuan (142,450 U.S. dollars) while the lowest was less than 40,000 yuan (5,698 U.S. dollars).

Analysts said the nation's average salary pattern among industries was similar to that of developed countries. Transfer of human resources promoted by market forces would help reduce salary gaps but the current corporate governance and personnel management policies had crippled the market's role.

(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2008)

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