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Wang Zhengbing, Meng Fangfang, Qi Huaqing:A research on wage status and wage expectations of migrant workers  

2009-09-22 11:00:41|  分类: 学术论文 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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A research on wage status and wage expectations of migrant workers in Hulan District

                              Wang Zhengbing,  Meng Fangfang, Qi Huaqing

 

Abstract: Since 2004, there have been the succession of migrant workers labor shortage all over the country. Among the factors causing farmers to hunt jobs in cities, the wage income plays a decisive role. So in this paper, it made an investigation and research about wages status and salary expectations of migrant workers in Hulan District. Finding that there are three main problems of migrant workers wages in Hulan District : The migrant workers’ average wage is less than the community average wage; the wages were cut down in fact because of long working hours, as well as the low rate of return. In this district , the wage expectation of migrant workers on average is between 1341.8 and 1496.9 yuan, that is 0.91-1.01 times as many as local minimum wage standard (after adding the overtime pay); and 0.98-1.12 times as many as AVG salary last year. At last, it gives some suggestions :  the enterprises should raise the standard of wages referring to the wage expectation of local migrant workers; local government should enhance skill trainings for migrant workers.

Key words: Hulan District , Migrant workers ,Wage status ,Wage expectations

 

 

 

Since reform and opening up, with the rapid development of China economic, the gap between urban and rural areas has been enlarged gradually. More and more rural surplus labors transfer into the city and form a special group of people - migrant workers. They make a significant contribution for China's urban construction. However, since 2004, "Labor Shortage" varying in degree have appeared in most parts of the country one after another , so the process of China Urbanization was impeded by that. Many scholars have studied this issue , and analysed varieties of factors causing farmers to hunt jobs in cities. Most of the results show that the income factor is the key factor.

An investigation about the cause of migrant workers to go out for job, Li Qiang (2003)shows "it is the economy income that drives large numbers of migrant workers to go out for job[1]." A Empirical Research on settlement or migration decision-making of migrant workers in Zhejiang Province , Wu Xing Lu shows that “the primary factor which causes migrant workers to migrate is the income, especially the income difference between move in cities or not [2]” In the empirical analysis on wages of migrant workers and the transfer of rural labor force Ding ShouHai shows: in long term, if the wages of migrant workers increase by 1%, the transferring number of agricultural labor force will increase by 1%. So, the wages of migrant workers make a great effect on the transferring of agricultural labor force [3].

In recent years, the China government promulgates some documents to protect the rights and interests of migrant workers, for example "some advices about solving the issue of migrant workers" .And the migrant workers’ treatment have been improved, the situation of non-payment wages for migrant workers has significantly changed. However, the problems about low income and unreasonable wages of migrant workers are still outstanding. Therefore, for solving the problem of migrant workers’ wages, it made an investigation in five villages of Hulan District, Harbin City, summed up a few unreasonable performances by wage status of local migrant workers, and analyzed the reasons. In this paper, it also calculated the average wages expectation of migrant workers in Hulan District on their own point of view. So as to provide some references for government to make policies, for the enterprises to raise wage standards and for the migrant workers to make a decision on employment.

 

 

1.     The wage status of migrant workers in Hulan District

 

1.1    The total situation about the transfer of agriculture labor force in Hulan District

 

Hulan District is a new district of city Harbin, the area of it is about 2197 square kilometers, the population is 609,000, of which the agricultural population 426,000, rural labor force222,000. Since 2005, the total number of the transferred rural labors is 128,000, accounting for 58% of the total rural labor force in this area. In 2007, the total income of transferred rural labor force is about 780,000,000 yuan, and the labor wage of the agriculture population is about 1778 yuan per capita, accounting for 38% of local farmers’ net income per capita [4].

In recent years, with the "Labor Shortage" all over the country, this situation have also emerged in some industries in or surrounding Harbin. The supplying and demanding information in the labor market of Harbin shows that: From July 2004 to early 2005, there is a large shortage of manual workers which are mainly migrant workers. only one candidate for 1.75 posts on average, In 2004, for labor shortage ,lots of the enterprises have raised the wage for migrant workers , but the number of the labor force is still insufficient in some industries. From the end of 2007 to early 2008, In some industries especially construction and restaurants which needs more migrant workers, the shortage of labor is getting more serious: the rate of seeking for manual workers in construction increased to 427.00 percent (for 4.27 posts, only a candidates), and the rate of seeking for attendants in restaurants reached to 258.00% [5].

 

1.2 The characters of the migrant workers’ wage in Hulan District

 

1.2.1 The instruction of the investigation materials

The survey pot: 5 villages of Hulan District in the northern of city Harbin in Heilongjiang Province.

The survey method: Distributing questionnaires and making interviews with migrant workers.

The total number of questionnaires is 110, the recovered number is 106 , and the valid questionnaires are 98, so the effective rate of the questionnaires is 92.5 percent.

1.2.1.1 The gender and industries distribution in the samples

From the gender distribution, in the samples, there are 77 male migrant workers, accounting for 78.6 percent of the total, 21 women, accounting for 21.4 percent of the total. From the industry distribution, in the samples there are 12 different industries, including: clothing textiles, restaurants, domestic service, construction, machinery manufacturing, logistics, typists, food processing, porter, building materials processing, decoration, technical maintenance. Migrant workers in construction industry are the most, with a number of 49, accounting for 50% of the total; followed by restaurants, with a number of 10, accounting for 10.2 percent of the total. And women are mainly in three industries, they are restaurants, domestic service and clothing textiles; men are widely distributed in various sectors, mainly in the construction industry.

1.2.1.2 The age and work place distribution in the samples

In the age distribution, in the samples, the youngest migrant worker is 18 years old, the oldest one is 67 years old. According to per 10-year-old, all the samples can be divided into some age groups. The group aged 20-29 years old owns largest members, with a number of 38, accounting for 38.8 percent of the total number. Young and middle-aged labor (aged 20-39 year-old) are 59, accounting for 60.2 percent of the total number of samples. From the work place distribution, 82 migrant workers work in the local city or township, accounting for 83.6 percent of the total. The proportion of workers working in other cities of local province and other provinces are very low, only 10.2% and 6.1% respectively.

1.2.1.3 The education level of the samples

In the samples, the number of migrant workers who get junior school education is 75, accounting for 78.1 percent of the total, followed by primary school education, accounting for 16.5 percent of the total number; the ones who gets high school and college education are rarely, only accounting for 4.3 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.

 

1.2.2 the wage situation of migrant workers in Hulan District

 

1.2.2.1 The migrant workers’ wage difference between men and women

From the statistics of the samples, the average wage of migrant workers in Hulan District is 1267.35 yuan per month. And the average wage of female migrant workers is 876.2 yuan per month, it is 391.2 yuan lower than the average wage of local migrant workers per month. The average wage of male migrant workers is 1317.3 yuan per month, and 49.95 yuan higher than the average wage of local migrant workers per month.

We can see, in the migrant workers of Hulan District, the wage of female migrant workers is very low, I think it has relationship with the difference between male and female migrant workers’ industry distribution.

1.2.2.2 The migrant workers’ wage differences in different industries

In the samples, migrant workers mainly distributed in 12 industries, such as the construction, clothing textiles, food processing, technical maintenance etc. Among these, the migrant workers in construction and technical maintenance get much more wages than other industries, the average wages are 1513.3 yuan(245.95 yuan more than the average one per month) and 1300 yuan(32.65 yuan more than the average one per month) per month respectively. The wages of migrant workers in other  industries are lower than the average wage of local migrant workers. The domestic service and porters are two industries with lowest income, respectively 600 yuan and 640 yuan per month.

Different working hours, labor intensity, as well as technology intensity led to the wage difference in different industries. In the 12 industries, the construction is a labor-intensive industry, and the migrant workers in it have the longest woking time, about 11 hours per day. Technical maintenance needs lower labor intensity, but much higher technology intensity. The migrant workers in porters and domestic services, have flexible and standard working hours, about 8 hours per day , and with lower labor intensity.

1.2.2.3 The migrant workers’ wage differences in different work places

Another main reason for migrant workers’ wage differences is the different work places. By the samples, we can see that the average wage of the migrant workers working in local places (local city or townships) is 1091.3 yuan per month (176.05 yuan lower than the average one per month) The average wage of migrant workers working in other places(other cities of local province or other provinces) is much higher than the average one, it is about 1920 yuan per month. Though one working in other places can get much more wage, the choices of working there are much less, accounting for only 16.4 percent of the total; 83.6 percent of migrant workers still chose to work in local places.

 

2.     Some problems existing in the wage of the migrant workers in Hulan District

 

2.1 The migrant workers’ average wage is less than the AVG salary .

 

AVG salary is defined as the average monetary amount of the workers ( in enterprises or other institutions) in a certain period of time and within a certain area.  It can reflect the workers wages and living standards in a certain period of time. So it is an important reference standar in measuring workers’ wage and the quality of life. Migrant worker is a special group with dual roles. As farmers, they can get agricultural income by farming; as workers, they can become members of enterprises and obtain the corresponding wage income. So the local community average wage should also be a reference standard in measuring the local migrant workers’ wages.

The contrast between local community average wage and the migrant workers average wage in Hulan district are as follows:

 

Table -1: Migrant workers monthly average wage in Hulan district in 2007:

Wage groups

(yuan per month)

Mid-point/Mean

x

Frequency

f

percentage(%)

Below 400

300

1

1.0

400-600

500

5

5.1

600-800

700

10

10.2

800-1000

900

23

23.5

1000-1200

1100

17

17.3

1200-1400

1300

11

11.2

1400-1600

1500

11

11.2

1600-1800

1700

1

10.0

1800-2000

1900

5

5.1

2000-2500

2250

11

11.2

2500 or more than

2750

3

3.1

sum

 

98

100

Source: survey in Hulan District

 

According to the table-1, the calculation of migrant workers’ average wage is as follows:

=(300×1+500×5+700×10+900×23+1100×17+1300×11+1500×11+1700×1+1900×5+2250×11+2750×3)/98

=1267.35 yuan

Y-as the average monthly average of migrant workers; i- the number of group;

n -upper limit for the group (n = 11);

xi - the Middle value of the number i group;

fi - the frequency first of number i group.

We can see, the average monthly wage of migrant workers in Hulan district is 1267.35 yuan, and it is 108.05 yuan lower than the local community average wage, 1375.4 yuan (Table -2) per month in 2007.

Table -2: community average wage in Harbin

year

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Monthly wage

565

729

858

1234.8

1375.4

Growth rate(%)

――

29.0

17.7

43.9

11.39

Source: (Labor and Social Security Bureau in Hulan District, city Harbin)

In Hulan District , lots of migrant workers still don’t have work-related injuries insurance or medical insurance or social welfare . In such conditions, their wages are still much lower than the local community average wage, so it is very unreasonable.

 

2.2 The wages were cut down in fact because of long working hours

 

"A notice on the conversion of staffs’ average working hours and wage from yearly ones to monthly ones by labor and Social Security Sector" stated clearly: throughout a year, the workers’ average working days and working hours were 20.92 days and 167.4 hours respectively. The minimum wage standers in Heilongjiang Province was enacted in accordance with the notice, it means that in normal working hours, workers’ wages should not be lower than the minimum standard. However, in fact, the working hours of migrant workers in Hulan District are much longer than the normal time required in the notice. So the wages are cut down in fact.

 

Table -3: the daily average working hours of migrant workers in Hulan District

Working hours

8h

9h

10h

11h

12h or more than

sum

Frequency

14

2

30

14

38

98

percentage(%)

14.3

2.0

30.6

14.3

38.8

100

Source: survey in Hulan District

 

From the table-3, we can see that the percentage in line with the normal working hours (8 hours per day) is very small, only 14.3 percent of the total, the majority of farmers’ daily working hours were much longer than the statutory standard. The number of migrant workers who work 12 hours or more is the largest, accounting for 38.8 percent of the total. Overall, the daily average working hours of migrant workers in Hulan District is 10.61 hours, 2.61 hours higher than the statutory one.

 

Table -4: the rest days of migrant workers in Hulan District per month

Rest days

0

1-3

3-5

5-7

7 or more

sum

Mid-point/Mean

0

2

4

6

8

 

Frequency

73

9

8

6

2

98

Percentage

(%)

74.5

9.2

8.2

6.1

2

100

Source: survey in Hulan district

 

From the table-4, we can see that in Hulan District ,the number of migrant workers without rest days per month was the largest, accounting for 74.5 percent of the total. The number of migrant workers with 4 days or more rest days per month is only 16.3 percent of the total. The monthly working days of the migrant workers in Hulan District are 28.96 days on average (There are 30 days in a month), and their average rest days is only about 1.04 days per month.

These two statistics show that in fact the working days and working hours of migrant workers are much more than the reasonable working hours of minimum wage standard in Heilongjiang Province (8 hours per day, 20.92 days per month). Though they work so long time, for the excessive time, most of the migrant workers did not receive any overtime costs.

 

2.3 The low rate of return

 

In recent years, migrant workers have made great contributions for China's economic development and urban construction. From the whole country, some scholars made a calculation about the contributed of migrant workers, the results showed: from 1995 to 2005, if the labor productivity of migrant workers were as much as urban industrial workers, then the migrant workers’ contribution to the second industry of China accounted for 14.77 percent of its total output value, and the one to the tertiary industry of China were  24.35 percent of its. And the share of the contribution were growing year by year. Industrial output value of these, and year after year have contributed to share growth trend [6]. From the local area, the migrant workers in Hulan District contributed 2.61 hours more than the city workers per day, and 8.04 days more than the city workers, about 140 hours per month.

However, though the migrant workers make a great contribution, they still can not enjoy the same treatment with urban workers, mainly in the aspect of overtime wage. The minimum wage standard is based on normal working hours (8 hours a day per day, 20.92 days per month on average), while the migrant workers’ average working time are far beyond this standard, so in the measure of migrant workers’ wage reasonable or not, if you only see the absolute value of migrant workers’ wage just reach the minimum wage standard, and you say it is reasonable, then you make a great mistake. For their long working time, we should measure the reasonable wages of migrant workers by minimum wage standard adding up the overtime wage, according to the relevant provisions of Labor and Social Security department.

The calculation of the migrant workers’ minimum wage (adding up overtime pay) is as follows:

calculation basis:

A. The minimum wage standard of City Harbin in 2007 (full-time employees’ wage 590 yuan / month;hourly employees’ wage 4.43 yuan / h);

B. The relevant provisions of labor and social security department .

Analysis of the known

From the statistics obtained: the migrant workers’ average working hours per day in Hulan District t1 = 10.62 hours / day; the average working days per month n1 = 28.96 days / months.

According to the minimum wage standard: the city workers’ reasonable average working time t0 = 8 hours / day; monthly average working days n0 = 20.92 days / months; minimum wage standards of Harbin city in 2007 y0 = 590 yuan / month; the minimum reasonable monthly wage is converted into hourly wage x0 == 590 / (20.92 × 8) = 3.53 yuan / hour.

According to the provisions of Labor and Social Security Bureau in Harbin: employers should pay workers no less than 150 percent of wages for the extension working hours per working day; employers should pay no less than 200% of the wages for the workers working in rest day. That is, the wage for extension working hours per working day x1 = 1.5 × x0; the wage for extension working hours in rest days x2 = 2 × x0 .

the calculation of minimum wage adding up the overtime fee:

Solution:

Hypothesis △t is the extra working hours per working day;△n is the extra working days per month; and solve the equations for y (minimum wage adding up the overtime fee).

Put the Known Conditions into the equations , we can get:

y =590+1.5×3.53×(10.61-8)×20.92+2×3.53×(28.96-20.92)×10.62

=1481.72yuan /month

So , the migrant workers’ wage adding up the overtime fee in Hulan District should be 1481.72 yuan / month. However in fact it is only 1267.35 yuan / month, 214.37 yuan lower than the minimum wage standards per month.

 

3.     The reasons for the unreasonable wage of migrant workers

 

3.1 The enterprises’ misunderstanding in Minimum Wage Standards

 

At present, there is a contradiction in the labor market of Harbin -the owners do not want to raise the workers’ wage while the migrant workers are not satisfied with the current wage.

The key resulting the contradiction is enterprises’ misunderstanding in Minimum Wage Standards. Many business owners believe that the current wages of migrant workers have been in line with or higher than the minimum wage standard, and it is no necessary to raise the wage. In fact, business owners ignore an important prerequisite for the standard, that is "workers provide the normal labor in the statutory working hours in accordance with the law or the labor contract [7]." According to the relevant provisions of the Bureau of Labor and Social Security of Harbin, the normal working time is 8 hours per day, 20.92 days per month. But in fact in Hulan District, the migrant workers’ average working hours is 2.61 hours longer than the statutory daily working hours, and the monthly working hours is 85.3 hours longer than statutory working hours per month. And most of the migrant workers can not receive overtime wage. Therefore, it is unreasonable that the business owners measure wages only by absolute value just equal to the minimum wage standard level, ignoring migrant workers extra working hours. That is also an important reason for migrant workers’ low wage, and dissatisfaction in their wage.

 

3.2 The migrant workers with low education, and lack skill training

 

In Hulan District, 94.6 percent of migrant workers have only accepted primary or junior secondary education. Only 7.4 percent of them accepted high school or college education, much lower than the local city residents’ educational level. Moreover, the lack of skills training for migrant workers is very obvious. Survey found that in Hulan District, the migrant workers engaged in technical work such as carpentry, bricklaying, mechanical maintenance, electrical technology are very few, accounted for only 32.6 percent of the total number of samples. 65 percent of migrant workers never received professional skills training. Migrant workers with low education have many occupational restrictions, they could only work in the unimportant labor market of the city, engage in some jobs with low technical and low pay. Also, it is very difficult for the migrant workers with low education to understand and master the new knowledge and new technologies, so as to the training effect often is not obvious. At present, with the economic development in Hulan District, the enterprises’ requires for the workers is also rising. So only relying on manual work has been unable to meet the demands of the market. As a result, migrant workers with such low quality and low skill levels can not get high wage levels.

 

3.3 Government’s supervision is not enough

 

In recent years, Heilongjiang Province has implemented a series of policies to improve the treatment of migrant workers such as “Migrant Workers’ Wage Protection Provisions in Heilongjiang Province” and so on. These policies make clear provisions on migrant workers working hours, wage payment, and other content . However, in fact, some policies are still not been implemented. Taking the construction industry for example, from the construction regulatory authorities of Harbin, we learned that in the construction industry standard , the working hours is 8 hours per day, the official released wage is 35-45 yuan / day, and for the excess working hours , the enterprises should pay the workers 150% -200 % of the normal wages. However, the actual survey found that the working hours of migrant workers in the construction industry are much longer than normal working time and the overtime pay do not meet standards.

Figure -1shows that in the construction industry, only 4% of the migrant workers’ working hours is 8 hours. 90% of their working hours is more than 10 hours, and 12% of theirs even reach 13 hours.

Also, due to the characteristics of the construction industry, many construction companies in the pursuit of speed stimulate workers to work hard by the overtime pay. So many migrant workers often work an extra shift "voluntarily" only for the overtime pay. However, in fact, the so-called overtime pay enterprises giving to the migrant workers often does not meet the requirement of labor and social security department. Survey results show that in Hulan District the average monthly wage of the migrant workers in the construction industry is 1513.3 yuan, but in strict accordance with the provisions adding up the overtime pay , the monthly wages of migrant workers should not be less than 1833.16 yuan. So in construction industry the migrant workers’ real wages have been cut down 320 yuan / month. So because local government is not in place to monitor the implementation of the policies, the wages of migrant workers could not be improved obviously.

 

 

4. The wage expectation of migrant workers in Hulan District

 

4.1 The definition and calculation of wage expectations

 

At present, most of the migrant workers have the view that the current level of their wages paid is not reasonable because of the actual long working time and big labor-intensive, so they have a higher wage expectations. Through the survey, the wage expectations of migrant workers can be divided into two parts: one is "minimum wage expectation", the other is "reasonable wage expectation". "Minimum wage expectations" means the minimum wage attracting farmers to leave field and work in cities or towns , after they weigh farming and the opportunity cost of working in cities. That is, if the actual wage level was below the minimum wage expectation, migrant workers would rather stay home for farming or rest than work in cities. "Reasonable wage expectations" means that the migrant workers own assessment of reasonable value of their work, according to their actual working time and labor intensity. That is, if migrant workers’ real wages reached the level of reasonable wage expectations, most migrant workers will get more satisfaction.

The calculation of the wage expectations by weighted means is as follows:

From table-5

The "minimum wage expectation" of the migrant workers is represented by X

 

=(400×1+500×1+600×5+700×3+800×11+900×5+1000×18+1200×16+1500×15+2000×13+2500×7+3000×3)/98

 

X-the "minimum wage expectation" of the migrant workers ;

i –the number of wage groups;

n -the upper limit for the group (n = 12);

xi –the mid-point of the group i;

fi -the frequency of the group i.

We can see that the minimum wage expectation of migrant workers in Hulan district is 1341.84 yuan / month. And it is almost equal to the local social-wage, 1375.4 yuan / month of last year.

From table -6 , reasonable wage expectation of the migrant workers is represented by Y

=146700/98 =1496.9 yuan per month

Y-the reasonable wage expectation of the migrant workers

i –the number of wage groups;

n -the upper limit for the group (n = 9);

xi –the mid-point of the group i;

fi -the frequency of the group i.

 

Table -5: the minimum wage expectation of migrant workers in Hulan district

wage(yuan/month)

frequency (f)

percentage(%)

400

1

1.0

500

1

1.0

600

5

5.1

700

3

3.1

800

11

11.2

900

5

5.1

1000

18

18.4

1200

16

16.3

1500

15

15.3

2000

13

13.3

2500

7

7.1

3000

3

3.0

sum

98

100

Source: survey in Hulan District

 

Table -6: reasonable wage expectation of migrant workers in Hulan district

 

Wage x(yuan/month)

Mid-point/Mean

frequency

(f)

percentage(%)

600-800

700

7

7.1

800-1000

900

14

14.3

1000-1200

1100

9

19.4

1200-1400

1300

6

6.1

 1400-1600

1500

21

21.4

1600-2000

1800

15

15.3

2000-2500

2250

6

6.1

2500-3000

2750

8

8.1

3000-3500

3250

2

2.0

sum

 

98

100

Source: survey in Hulan District

 

Migrant workers’ reasonable wage expectation is 1496.9 yuan / month, it is almost equivalent to the minimum wage standard 1481.72 yuan / month (included overtime pay). We can see, in fact when the migrant workers gave their reasonable expectations, they have added up the overtime pay in it from some degree. So it is the migrant workers’ rational assessment to their work.

Based on above analysis, in Hulan district , the wage expectation of migrant workers on average is between 1341.8 and 1496.9 yuan, that is 0.91-1.01 times as many as local minimum wage standard (after adding the overtime fee); and 0.98-1.12 times as many as the community average wage last year.

 

4.2 The practical significance of migrant workers wages expectation standard

 

4.2.1 It is beneficial to reducing the wage gap between the migrant workers and urban workers

In recent years, according to state wage increasing policies, in Heilongjiang Province, the urban workers’ wages continue to increase. From 2004 to 2007, in Hulan District the urban workers’ wages have increased from 729 yuan to 1375.4 yuan, with an annual growth rate of 24% on average. However, because of migrant workers’ uniqueness, usually they are not in the range of wage increasing policy. At present, the main reference standard of migrant workers’ wages is still the local minimum wage standard, but compared with the increase of wages for urban workers, minimum wage standards increased much slower. From 2004 to 2007, In Harbin, the minimum wage changed from 360 yuan / month to 590 yuan / month. Average annual growth rate is 18%, and this number is 6 percentage points lower than urban workers’. Also, migrant workers working hours is often much longer than the urban workers’, so in fact the wage income gap between migrant workers and urban workers is even wider.

In the survey analysis, the number of the migrant workers’ wage expectations is almost equal to the local minimum wage standard (after adding the overtime pay), and also AVG salary. So it will further narrow the wage gap between migrant workers’ and urban workers, improve the migrant workers’ satisfaction and protect migrant workers’ legitimate rights and interests by increasing the local migrant workers’ real wages referring to the value of local migrant workers’ wage expectations.

 

4.2.2 It is beneficial to promoting the circulation of local rural land and the process of urbanization

At present, In Hulan District, the main way of rural labor transfer is short-term and holding consecutive jobs/concurrent business (兼业性的) The majority of migrant workers still do not want to give up farming in the fields, and do not want to work in the city for long time. From the survey data, only 16.3 percent of the migrant workers in Hulan District chose to work in other city or towns far away from home, and 83.7 percent of migrant workers chose to work in locality. Most of them believe that working in locality is more convenient for them to go to work in the slack time and back home for farming in growing season. The characteristics of the Migrant workers choosing their jobs related to their satisfaction degree about current wage. In the survey, the migrant workers in Hulan District had a lower level of satisfaction about their wage income. The number of who satisfied and very satisfied with the wages, accounted for only 24.5 percent of the total. So it show that the current wages level is still not high enough for migrant workers to give up their farming income to became long-term workers in cities.

If the local government can increase the local migrant workers’ wages by referring to the value of local migrant workers’ wage expectations, then more and more migrant workers with high satisfaction will choose to give up farmland management, become long-term workers in city. All of that are very beneficial to expanding the size of the local rural land transfer(土地流转规模), promoting agricultural industrialization, and also urbanization.

 

5. Some advices about how to solve the problem of migrant workers’ unreasonable wage

 

5.1 Enterprises should raise the wage standard referring to the migrant workers’ wages expectation

 

Facing the situation of labor-short in some enterprises, many business owners do not want to further raise the wages of migrant workers, worrying about profit loss. In fact, raising the migrant workers’ wages in some degree will bring greater economic benefits for the enterprise-selves. Efficiency wage theory shows: one enterprise pay workers in it higher wages, that will reduce the mobility of workers, reduce the proportion of resignation and also enhance the workers enthusiasm to work more effectively to create much more profit for the enterprise. So paying workers higher wages is also benefit to one enterprise.

 

At present, the mobility of migrant workers is the main reason for labor-shortage in some industry of Harbin. In the survey, about 1 / 3 of migrant workers would replace unit per six months on average. 68% of migrant workers have ever said that the main reason for the unit replacement is the low wage. Therefore, if the business can raise migrant workers’ wages according to their wage expectation in some degree, then that will greatly increase the level of migrant workers’ satisfaction degree, and retain at least 20% of the staff who have ever want to replace unit. This means that enterprises can reduce 20% of the cost of hiring, also reduce the losses of under capacity operation. Also, higher wages will stimulate the migrant workers’ creativity, enhance their work efficiency and effort degree to save production costs.

 

5.2 Local government should enhance skill trainings for migrant workers

 

Despites the government of Heilongjiang Province have done a lot of work in the skills training of migrant workers, such as the "Sunshine Project", establishing training bases and so on. However, in Hulan District the number of migrant workers participating in skills training is still small. In the survey, only 9% of the migrant workers have ever participated in the short-term (within a year ) vocational training, the number of who never participated in the skills training accounted for 60.2 percent of the total, and about 30% of migrant workers only study some simple skills in the practical work following experienced workers.

 

In Hulan District, the migrant workers’ skill-shortage is an important factor blocking the increase of local migrant workers’ wage level. So the local government should improve the migrant workers’ skills training work in the following aspects: First, increasing capital investment. Local financial department should make an annual budget for the rural labor force as training funds, and establish a "Government-led, Multi-ways found-raising" investment system. Second, information service. The Government should try his best to collect the information of labor market's demand for vocational skills, make investigations regularly on the occupational supply and demand for migrant workers and their wage level. And also give the result to the public timely so that the training institution can carry out appropriate skills training according to the market demand for migrant workers. Third, guiding and encouraging enterprises to participate in the migrant workers’ skill training.  The local government should formulate laws and regulations to make the enterprises’ responsibility in migrant workers trainings clear. Also, the local government can take some measures to encourage the enterprises to participate in the migrant workers skill training. Such as reduce the tax for some enterprises doing well in the migrant workers training.

 

References:

 [1]Li Qiang, 2003,  The thrust and pull factors analysis of Chinese population’s mobility in urban and rural areas  [J], Social Sciences in China ,2003(1), p22-27(in Chinese).

[2]Xinglu Wu, 2005, A Research on socio-cultural factors of Migrant workers decision-making in migration [J], Chinese Rural Economy, 2005(1), P51-58(in Chinese).

[3]Shouhai Ding, 2006,  The wages of migrant workers and the transfer of rural labor: an Empirical Analysis  [J], Chinese Rural Economy, 2006(4), P12-19(in Chinese).

[4]the Web site of Human Resources Market of Harbin, 2007, http://www.hrb-labor.gov.cn/ (in Chinese)

[5]Shen Hanxi, Lin Jian, 2007, Measurement of Migrant Workers’Contributions to China’s Economy [J], Journal of China Agricultural University, 2007(1), P63-66(in Chinese).

[6]Chinese Labor and Social Security, 2003, the Provision about Minimum wage(No. 21),Article III

[7]A-li Hu, Zheng-bing Wang ,2007,The Analysis of Income Critical Value on the Transformation from Farmers to Migrant Workers———the Investigation of the Central Part of Shanxi [J], Finance and Trade Research, 2007(3), P42-47(in Chinese).

 刊于《China-USA Business Review》2009年第1期P34-45.

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