Salaries in China’s Shenzhen rise, but highest earners still make 10 times the money of the lowest

Finance and tech professionals are taking home the biggest wage packets, while catering and manufacturing jobs rank among the lowest paid, city government figures show

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2017, 6:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 September, 2017, 6:06pm

The average monthly income of workers in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has risen 10 per cent this year, but disparity remains, with the highest earners still making 10 times the salary of the lowest, according to the latest figures from the city government.

The Human Resources and Social Security Bureau said the average income of 240,000 workers across 959 companies in the technology and manufacturing hub has reached 5,611 yuan a month this year, up from 5,097 yuan in the same survey last year.

Financial and tech firms pay the most, while catering and manufacturing are among the lowest paying industries, it said.

The figures showed that the median salaries in the top, middle and low pay sectors were 25,274 yuan, 4,415 yuan and 2,725 yuan per month in 2017, up from 24,305 yuan, 4,034 yuan and 2,467 yuan in 2016. The middle-income group saw the fastest wage growth.

The bureau said education backgrounds still mattered, with master’s and PhD degree holders earning an average of 11,026 yuan per month, compared to the average of 8,827 yuan for bachelor's degree holders and under 5,000 yuan for those who did not attend university.

Financial, IT services and property firms are the top three payers, with staff earning between 37,000 yuan and 48,000 yuan a month.

In the financial sector, the highest pay went to those involved in share listings. Their average monthly income was 61,437 yuan this year, although that was down almost 14 per cent from the 71,136 yuan in 2016.

Ares Li, who works at a securities firm in Shenzhen, said the investment banking business in the city was buoyant as the local stock exchange is seeing many smaller companies listing on the ChiNext board. However he added that the fall in pay from last year may have been due to government measures to control the number of share listings as part of efforts to stabilise markets after periods of volatility.

The accommodation and catering industries, manufacturing and residential services were paying the lowest salaries, with an average of about 2,600 yuan a month, the government data showed.

The legal minimum wage in Shenzhen was raised in March to 2,130 yuan a month from 2,030 yuan, while the hourly minimum wage was increased to 19.5 yuan from 18.5 yuan. Those changes went into effect in June.