Shanghai raises minimum wage standard

08:50, March 03, 2011      

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Shanghai announced Wednesday it would raise minimum wages by up to 14 percent from April 1 to help low-income families keep up with surging prices.

The hike would bring the minimum monthly wage in the city to 1,280 yuan(194 U.S. dollars) from the current 1,120 yuan, the city's government said at a press conference.

It is the 18th adjustment since 1993 when Shanghai established the minimum wage mechanism.

The move comes after south China's Guangdong province and the eastern province of Shandong hiked minimum wages from Tuesday.

Minimum wages have been rising around the country since last year in the wake of labor shortages, a spate of strikes and surging inflation.

The consumer price index (CPI), a major gauge of China's inflation, rose 4.9 percent in January from a year earlier as food prices increased 10.3 percent due to rising demand and a drought in key grain-growing regions.

Premier Wen Jiabao pledged during an on-line chat with the public Sunday that the government would raise salaries of low-income groups and minimum living allowances to ensure fair income distribution.

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