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Average annual wages in China 2008-2018

China is the largest labor force market in the world. China’s economic prosperity wouldn’t exist without the large number of people working in this country. With increasing living standards and growing inflation, the wages of employees in China are increasing as well. As of 2018, average wages in China increased to 82,461 yuan from 29,229 yuan in 2008.

Wage gap between regions

   The wages vary in China depending on sector, position, gender and region like in any other country. Since China’s different regions have developed unequally, the wage gaps between people working in different regions can also be very large. This is a reason for no single minimum wage being set for the entire nation. The local governments set minimum wages based on local living standards. Considering the city tier, the wage standards are higher in cities with higher rankings. Shanghai and Beijing have the highest minimum wage standards in China. Although the minimum wages in China have been increasing, the standards are still lower than in developed countries.

Challenges of increasing labor costs

   Increasing wages also make the labor force market less attractive. Affected by increasing labor costs and the China-United States trade war, many companies are transferring their investment destinations, especially in the manufacturing sector. Local governments are also taking measures to ensure the living costs remain at a reasonable level to retain companies and employees. These measures include regulating the residential housing market more strictly.

Average annual wages in China from 2008 to 2018

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Release date

May 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Note: 1 yuan equals approximately 0.13 euro and 0.14 U.S. dollars (as of August 2019).

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