Shenzhen plans to raise minimum salary levels in a bid to solve labour shortage. The municipal Labour and Social Security Department said Shenzhen city's minimum salary would be increased from 610 to 690 yuan a month. In suburbs, the lowest salary would rise from 480 to 580 yuan. The rule would take effect from July 1, the department said. This comes as Shenzhen faces a mounting labour shortage. Last week, the department said there were 100,000 job vacancies but it had only added 20,000 workers to its workforce since January. Many academics blame the shortage on low wages and worsening job conditions. The city economy has grown about 20 per cent in the past decade, but minimum salaries are largely unchanged. Many migrant workers have abandoned the Pearl River Delta for the Yangtze River Delta, where the salary levels are higher. Guan Lingen, director of the Labour and Social Security Department, admitted the increase was partly to keep up with other cities. 'Our minimum salary level is lagging behind cities in the Yangtze River Delta. We are facing great pressure to adjust it and to make it on par with our economic development,' the Southern Metropolitan News quoted him as saying. Workers in Shenzhen welcomed the decision although some doubted if it would really help them. 'It is not a very big increase. Of course, it is better than none. I don't know how the 70 yuan difference will help us. Shenzhen is a very expensive city,' said a worker from Hunan, who was also worried that employers may not follow the rule. 'Many factories in the past have ignored the minimum salary regulation. What really matters is that in the end we could really get the money,' he said. Some employers told the Southern Metropolitan News that they could not afford the new minimum salary.