Earlier today, China’s National Bureau of Statistics released its “2020 Migrant Workers Monitoring Survey Report” which looked into the livelihood and income of China’s over 285 million migrant workers.
The report concluded that the income of migrant workers, defined as those who have moved from rural to urban areas and carry out manual labour, increased by 2.8% in 2020 to an average of 4,072 RMB ($629) per month. The average monthly wage varies between 3358 RMB and 4814 RMB depending on the industry that they work in.
The hashtag ‘#migrant workers earn 4072 RMB monthly income’ (#农民工月均收入4072元#) has already attracted over 290,000 views and 12,597 comments on Weibo. Comments from online users reflected some of the challenges that migrant workers face and many questioned how they survived on such a low salary with rising living prices, especially in big cities. In contrast, the national average income was 90,501 RMB ($13,992) per year, or 7542 RMB per month, in 2019.
“4000 RMB a month is laughable”
“Migrant workers really don’t have it easy… no money or time to enjoy themselves, barely scraping by – that salary is hard to get by with”Comments from netizens
Some netizens praised their contribution to China’s development, while others chose to criticise the income inequality between migrant workers and those in other sectors. Several comments picked out the entertainment industry due to its high-earning KOLs and celebrities, commenting: