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Shenzhen lowers job pay scales

[ 2009-07-23 13:02]     字号 [] [] []  
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The government in Shenzhen has lowered the income benchmarks for the first time since 1999 to soften the impact of the financial crisis on local companies.

The municipal labor authority issues the income benchmarks annually to serve as a reference for 566 types of jobs in the city.

The highest-level and medium-level benchmarks stand at 23,700 yuan and 2,460 yuan per month, respectively, decreasing by 8.5 percent and 3.9 percent each from last year.

However, the low-level income benchmark gained a 7 percent year-on-year rise this year to 1,102 yuan per month, which labor officials said should be attributed to the government's measures to protect low-income laborers.

Workers are encouraged to use the benchmark when negotiating their wage with employers.

Last year, the official surveys showed that the lowest-level salaries on average were 25 times less than the highest salaries. This year, surveys showed that gap has narrowed to 21.5.

The authority also recorded the biggest income gap in the financial industry, including security houses, insurance companies and banks, where the highest-paid person could be earning 80 times what the lowest-paid person earns.

Several residents polled by China Daily yesterday in different industries expressed their concerns about salaries shrinking this year.

"Possible pay raise this year? Are you kidding? I would feel relief if no pay cut occurs," said Lin Zhen, an accountant working for a leading computer manufacturer.

Liu Yue, a manager at a State-owned bank, said some of her benefits have been greatly cut since early this year, including money for travel and major public holidays.

Officials at the labor authority said they are not making plans to further increase the minimum level this year.


1. What was the main reason for the government in Shenzhen to lower the income benchmarks for the first time since 1999?

2. What is the purpose of the income benchmarks issued by the municipal labor authority annually?

3. When are workers encouraged to use the benchmarks?


1. To soften the impact of the financial crisis on local companies.

2. It serves as a reference for 566 types of jobs in the city.

3. When negotiating their wage with employers.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Shenzhen lowers job pay scales

About the broadcaster:

Shenzhen lowers job pay scales

Siberian-born Kristina Koveshnikova is a freelance journalist from New Zealand who has worked in print, television and film. After completing a BCS degree majoring in journalism, she won an Asia NZ Foundation/Pacific Media Centre award to work for China Daily website. Kristina previously did internships at ABC 7 News in Washington DC and TVNZ in New Zealand and has written for a number of publications, including The New Zealand Herald and East & Bays Courier.