China Raises Minimum Wages; Cheap Labor 20 Percent Less Cheap

Ten Chinese cities or provinces raised their minimum wages July 1, the People’s Daily reported . The average increase among the jurisdictions was more than 20 percent.

In Beijing, the new minimum wage is 960 RMB per month , up from 800 RMB, according to Bloomberg.  That’s a bump of $22, up to $140 per month, or an annual wage of $1,680.

The Unites States federal minimum wage, which rose 41 percent between 2007 and 2009 after a decade-long freeze, is $7.25 per hour. Working 40 hours a week with no vacation, that means an annual wage of $15,080.