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Price and salary development

kurtosis (86 posts) • 0

I couldn't get around noting how expensive restaurants are here in Kunming, compared to the local average salary, and started to wonder if it's always been like this or if the gap widened lately.

Of course I don't want to complain, given the fact that I'm just spending a fraction here on what I'd spend back home, but I couldn't really make sense of the situation.

Therefore my questions:
How much, in your experience, did food prices increase during the past 10 years? The official numbers state that prices for dining out increased by 70 percent (or an annual 5.5 percent) in the ten years before 2015 throughout China.

How much do you believe salaries increased? The official numbers put growth rate at around 7 percent per year, stating that as of 2015, average monthly salary in Yunnan urban areas is at around CNY 4500 per month. I find it hard to believe those numbers given from what I've experienced so far.

Liumingke1234 (3161 posts) • 0

The rents and food price has gone way up within the last five years. Some schools still want to pay you 100 yuan an hour.Mind you when I first came here in 2006, the rate per hour was about 80 yuan an hour. What does that tell you?

tigertiger - moderator (5019 posts) • +1

Salaries in the English/foreign teaching field do not seem to have increased much in the last 10 years.
However, salaries in other sectors has gone up a lot, and so has the minimum wage.
Food prices have gone up a lot in the last 10 years. However, Kunming does seem to be more expensive than other cities. I have just come back from a trip to Inner Mongolia, via Shanghai. The prices for fresh produce are similar or slightly lower in Shanghai, and 20-50% cheaper in Inner Mongolia.
Restaurant prices, were also similarly different. A good meal in a Russian restaurant, in Manzhouli, was 400rmb for six people.

Haali (1127 posts) • +3

Dozens of people, perhaps, hundreds, are involved in growing, harvesting, transporting, and preparing my meal. I'm not gonna complain cos I had to work like 15 minutes in order to make the money to pay for it.

hehehe (21 posts) • +1

English teacher's salary follows English speaking countries' inflation/GPD growth figures, Chinese workers salary follows Chinese inflation/GPD growth figures. It only makes sense that English teacher's salary should not rise in accordance to the general inflation. Whether implicitly or explicitly, "we" compare our salary levels to back home when making decisions to work here or not because that's our opportunity cost...?

Haali (1127 posts) • +1

A good point hehehe. But in the UK, wages have fallen significantly, in real terms in the past 5 years, whereas my salary in China has almost doubled since 2012. Prices have gone up sure, but most of the essentials are still very cheap. We should pay attention not so much to the percentages, but the actual rise in cost. For example, a 20% rise on a 5RMB portion of fruit/veg from the market (plenty enough to feed one) means it'll be 1RMB more per day or about 365RMB a year. Whereas, a 20% increase on a 1500 a month apartment is 3600RMB a year.

tigertiger - moderator (5019 posts) • +1

@hehehe said. "English teacher's salary follows English speaking countries' inflation/GPD growth figures, Chinese workers salary follows Chinese inflation/GPD growth figures. It only makes sense that English teacher's salary should not rise in accordance to the general inflation."
If that means that wages paid locally to expats should not rise in line with Chinese inflation, that is wrong on so many levels.

@hehehe also said, 'Whether implicitly or explicitly, "we" compare our salary levels to back home when making decisions to work here or not because that's our opportunity cost...? "
Nope, I compare salary levels year on year for the 12 years I have been here. Some of us have been hear for many years and have made our home here. For us it is not an opportunity, and we still have family commitments to meet.
This could be classed as hearsay, a colleague of mine has a friend who every year or two has had to downsize apartments to afford to stay here. Rents have gone up, but wages have not gone up in line. In 2005 I was offered 4500 to teach in a university in Shanghai. Last month I saw a Kunming university offering an identical package.

@Halli said, "Dozens of people, perhaps, hundreds, are involved in growing, harvesting, transporting, and preparing my meal. I'm not gonna complain cos I had to work like 15 minutes in order to make the money to pay for it. "
Agree, but when last year a kilo of apples (wet market price) cost more than the hourly minimum wage, and when Kunmingers pay more than people in other regions, one is surely entitled to raise an eyebrow.

Liumingke1234 (3161 posts) • +1

@tiger tiger
100% correct.
From 80 yuan to 150 yuan per hour in a 11 year period is pretty pathetic wouldn't you say?

Alien (3819 posts) • 0

@Tiger: kilo of apples more than hourly minimum wage - yes, that's a problem for people earning the hour minimum wage, but not for people making 4500rmb/month, probably plus accommodation, for teaching English. But I do agree that farmers, at least, should have higher incomes in China. Ok with me if teachers get a raise too.

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