China's Guangdong province to hike mimimum wage by 19%

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's economic powerhouse of Guangdong is raising its minimum wage by an average of 19 percent to counter a labour shortage and rising living costs, state news agency Xinhua said.

Wages in China have shot up in recent years as the economy matures, a trend exacerbated by an ageing population and a shrinking labour force.

From May, minimum monthly wages in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, will rise by 22.2 percent to 1,895 yuan (S$411.21), the highest in the southern province, Xinhua said, citing the local department for human resources and social security.

The city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, will raise minimum salaries from March by 12.3 percent to 2,030 yuan, the highest in China.

Home to thousands of manufacturers and exporters, Guangdong is among China's wealthiest provinces.