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Rural Migrant Workers Still Make Low Income

A large-scale survey undertaken by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security shows that although most farmer workers in China work hard, their income level is relatively low. These workers work for 8.7 hours per day on average and their average monthly earning is about 1,020 yuan (US$131). What they concern most are things like wage, pension, education of their children and housing, the People's Daily reported.

The survey shows that most farmer workers have a relatively low income and many still can't get their wages on time. The average wage of migrant workers in enterprises is about 1,020 yuan a month, with 70% of them earning 500-1,200 yuan a month. Those with certain skills are more likely to earn more than those who don't have any skills, as the survey shows that those who don't have any skills make an average of 970 yuan a month, while those with some skills earn 1,400 yuan or more in a month.

Although most rural migrant workers can now receive their wages on time, some companies still delay payment to their employees. The survey shows that for those who had the experience of getting delayed payment, the amount of overdue wages among them reached 2,100 yuan and their income was delayed by an average of 1.9 companies each.

Working overtime is a very common thing among farmer workers, many of whom can't get their overtime pay. The survey shows that farmers in companies work for an average of 8.7 hours a day, with 7.9% of them working for more than 11 hours a day. 65.1% of farmer workers can get their overtime pay regularly, 23.1% can receive it from time to time, while 11.8% have never been paid for their extra work.

When asked about things that concern them most, 79.2% of them say it's income, 46.9% say it is working environment and 44.7% pick working time. In addition, 39.4% pick social insurance, 25.5% pick wage payment, and 23.6% say children's education. 22.7% of them are concerned about buying a house and 17.1% about employment contract.

The survey started in the later half of last year. About 19,000 enterprises and 2.84 million farmer workers from 40 cities took the survey. 43,000 of these 2.84 million farmer workers are regarded as typical farmer workers.
( February 7, 2007)

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