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Migrant Workers See Higher Wages

Most migrant workers enjoyed wage increases in 2005 and the problem of employers defaulting on salaries was alleviated, a survey has indicated.

According to the results of a poll released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security yesterday, employees at more than 60 percent of companies questioned saw an overall rise in their pay last year, with an average monthly income standing at 1,045 yuan (US$130).

But the salaries varied according to areas of the country and the levels of training workers received. Companies in Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta and the southeastern part of East China's Fujian Province offered higher pay than average and the pay rise was mainly seen in the most skilled group.

Meanwhile, the government's efforts on dealing with migrant workers' defaulted wages have produced an initial effect.

"In 2005, as much as 80 percent of migrant workers were fully paid which indicates the government has made some achievements in the problem," the official analysis said.

A majority of the companies polled said they would keep raising migrant workers' wages this year, even though the average income predicted by the employers falls short of the 1,189 yuan (US$150) expected by the employees. Firms said they are hiring more employees on local labor markets.

More than 80 percent of employers said they planned to recruit more workers in spring, and the number of positions will increase by 15 percent over the pre-Spring Festival period.

Most vacancies will be provided in construction, clothing, transportation and domestic service industries.

The survey was conducted among more than 5,300 migrant workers and 2,600 companies in 25 provinces and the results were made public on a website overseen by the ministry.

(China Daily February 14, 2006)

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