*Kraemer, Linden & Dedrick 2011; Dedrick & Kraemer 2017

Xiaowu and many other factory workers must work long hours in order to support themselves. Xiaowu works 70 hours a week to earn a living wage.

What is a living wage?

A living wage is the minimum income received for a standard workweek that allows for the worker and the worker’s family to afford a safe and decent living standard.

How is a living wage calculated?

The Anker Methodology is used to estimate living wages in rural, urban, and peri-urban areas around the world. It was developed by living wage experts Richard Anker and Martha Anker who spent over 15 years testing and perfecting the various aspects of the methodology.

Living wage vs. minimum wage?

Minimum wage and living wage have the same objectives—to ensure full-time workers don’t live in poverty. Minimum wage is a legal construct that is required by law, whereas living wage is currently a voluntary construct.

The monthly minimum wage in Shenzhen is ¥2200 (344 USD) in 2021, without overtime and before deductions.

What's the difference?

  • Living Wage
  • Minimum Wage

This chart above includes data of national statistics collected by China Labor Watch and China Labour Bulletin. These figures are based on RMB.

The cost of a basic and decent
living in Shenzhen:

Monthly living wage: ¥4774
Mandatory deductions: ¥310
Housing: ¥1020
Provision Assistance to Parents: ¥203
Food: ¥1299
Transportation, Communication, and other expenses: ¥1739
Provision for unexpected Events: ¥203

According to China Labour Bulletin, most factory workers are forced to live in low-rent, poor quality housing, spend most of their income on food, and walk to and from work to avoid transportation costs.

How can you get involved?

Living wage is a global movement.
Meet our impact partners.

China Labor Watch
China Labor Watch

China Labor Watch increases transparency of supply chains and factory labor conditions, advocates for workers' rights, and supports the Chinese labor movement.

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Remake is a nonprofit organization making fashion a force for good by empowering women to advocate for fair wages and eliminate injustice in the fashion industry.

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Social Accountability International
Social Accountability International

Social Accountability International (SAI) is a global non-governmental organization advancing human rights at work.

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The GoodElectronics Network connects and empowers organisations and individuals working to improve human rights in the global electronics supply chain.

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