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Part-time Jobs More Popular in Shanghai

Taking free-lance jobs has become a popular way for locals to make a living, especially young university graduates, according to a recent report by the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau.


The bureau surveyed nearly 8,000 local part-time workers about their working situation and publicized the 2006 wage guidelines for part-time jobs in the city yesterday.


Nearly half of the part-time workers surveyed said that they were free-lancers who depend on an hourly wage to make a living, rather than having a steady job.


The situation is particularly popular among young university or college graduates. About 14 percent of the part-timers surveyed were graduates with less than three-year working experience.


Most of them have taken up knowledge or skill-demanding positions such as interpreters or performers, the survey said.


For instance, a university graduate surnamed Huang now lives on a part-time piano playing job, earning 100 yuan (US$12) an hour playing background music at a local hotel.


Huang took an office job after graduation, but he quit several months later due to the unsatisfactory working environment.


"I didn't intend to be a free-lancer at first," said Huang. "But I gradually began to love my current job because of its flexible working schedule, good environment and favorable pay."


The wage guideline suggested that part-time performers should be paid 70 yuan to 100 yuan an hour on average, a 5 yuan to 50 yuan increase over guidelines released in the second half of last year.


Most of the free-lancers could earn a monthly income of 2,000 yuan or more, with the ceiling wage for some demanding jobs such as conference interpreters exceeding 7,000 yuan per day.


For middle-age laid-off workers with poor professional skills, low-demanding part-time jobs such as salesmen and supermarket assistant were also good options, said Zhang Yuan, a bureau official.


(Shanghai Daily February 7, 2006)

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