SHENZHEN, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen Friday said it will hike the minimum monthly wage by 13.6 percent starting February 2012 to help attract workers and buffer their rapidly rising living costs.
The move raises the minimum monthly wage for full-time workers to 1,500 yuan (240 U.S. dollars), the country's highest, the Shenzhen municipal human resources and social security bureau said in a press release.
The hike is aimed at easing the labor shortage after the Spring Festival, which falls on Jan. 23, when many migrants usually seek higher-paid jobs after returning from home, it said.
"It's a clear signal to people from all walks of life, particularly the laborers. The businesses can also better arrange their annual capital expenditure," it said.
Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, has been hit by a chronic labor shortage for years as many migrants return to work in factories closer to their hometowns that offer competitive wages.
Sichuan, a major source of migrant workers, announced last week it would raise the minimum monthly wage by about 23.4 percent to as much as 1,050 yuan starting January 2012.
Severe labor shortages, sporadic workers strikes, and rising living costs in cities prompted wage hikes both this year and last year.
Twenty-four provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities raised the minimum monthly wage by an average of 22 percent this year, said Yin Weimin, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security.