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Kunming minimum wage to rise to 8 yuan/hour

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Kunming and Yunnan have always been relatively cheap when compared to more developed parts of China, but as this corner of the country becomes more developed it is inevitably becoming more expensive. Not surprisingly, inflation has become an increasingly important issue in Yunnan - and nationwide.

In response to the rising cost of living, the Yunnan government announced this week that it will raise minimum wages by up to 22 percent starting on July 1.

The government's move is aimed at helping alleviate pressure on workers from rising prices and boosting consumer spending in order to stimulate the provincial economy – but this could also fuel more inflation down the road.

Minimum wages in Yunnan are divided into hourly and monthly categories, which are each divided into three classes for different geographic areas, with most of urban Kunming falling into the class one designation.

In Kunming the minimum monthly wage will rise from 680 yuan to 830 yuan, an increase of 22 percent, while the minimum hourly wage will go from 7 to 8 yuan.

Class two areas consist of all county seats, Anning city and Kunming's Dongchuan district. In these areas the monthly and hourly wages will rise from 610 yuan to 740 yuan and 6 yuan to 7 yuan, respectively.

The remaining parts of Yunnan are considered class three areas and will see minimum monthly and hourly wages rise from 520 to 630 yuan and 5 to 6 yuan, respectively.

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I often wonder why wages are negotiated as a percentage. This is ridiculous; 22% = 1 yuan!

Now, without any fanfare, the boss will increase his wage by 22%, even though his purchase of rice and vegetables cost the same.

After all, isn't this the reason for wage increases.

Please stop the world, I want to get off.


This is why I loving living in Kunming, the cost of living is cheap when compared to the U.S. A per hour rate of 8 yuan equals $1.17 U.S. per hour. I understand that for the locals, this is important, please don't misunderstand me. I am just stating that for someone like me from the U.S., living in Kunming is a better deal than the U.S. or other big cities in China.

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