Official Chinese Wage Figures Belie Reality – Olivia Chung

From Asia Times Online:

China’s recent report of a 12% average annual boost in employee wages from 2002 to 2006 has sparked fierce Internet debate and commentary, with many netizens questioning the accuracy of the figures.

According to the Chinese media, both the total income and average wage for employees recorded double-digit growth between 2002 and 2006. The growth rates are higher than the same rates of the country’s gross domestic product and per capita GDP during those years. The average annual GDP growth in 2002-06 was 10.3%, while per capita GDP growth was 9.2% due to the population increase. The total wages for employees in China reached 2.34 trillion yuan in 2006 from 1.32 trillion yuan (US$309 million) in 2002 (minus inflation), according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) . The average annual wage of an employee reached 21,001 yuan in 2006, up 70% by real terms from 12,422 yuan in 2002, after deducting price hikes. [Full Text]

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