Migrant Workers Earn Average Monthly Income of US$120
Migrant laborers in Chinese cities earn an average of 966 yuan (US$120) per month, much more than the average farmer, but still very low compared to urban residents.
The per capita monthly income for half of the migrant laborers is less than 800 yuan (US$101), with 19.67 percent below 500 yuan (US$63), according to a latest survey conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Ten percent of the 29,425 migrant workers surveyed have a monthly income of 1,500 yuan (US$190).
Migrant workers are mostly poor farmers who leave the countryside to find jobs in cities. There are more than 100 million migrant workers in China.
The average income of Chinese farmers is about one fourth that of the urban residents earn.
The shrinking of farmlands is producing a bigger army of migrant workers in the country and has caused many social troubles.
The survey shows that jobs in east China are the most lucrative for migrant workers, who earn an average of 1090 yuan (US$138) per month there, compared with 880 yuan (US$111) and 835 yuan (US$106) in the less developed central and western regions.
Migrant laborers spend an average of 463 yuan (US$59) per month; 72 yuan (US$9.1) on accommodation, 235 yuan (US$30) on food and 47 yuan (US$6) on recreation.
To improve their professional skills, half of the respondents received vocational training, while 24.1 percent were self-taught.
Of the 5,065 respondents who brought children with them to the cities, only 1.05 percent had seen their children drop out of school, and 49.2 percent had to pay an average registration fee of 1,226 yuan (US$155) in addition to regular tuition fees.
(Xinhua News Agency October 23, 2006)