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Pay to Play: What China's Rising Wages Mean for Investors

There's a sea change underway in China's economy - one that's evident in soaring prices, shrinking trade surpluses, and higher property values. And it's being driven by higher wages for workers that for decades have been grossly underpaid.

From the country's fast-growing urban centers to its frontier countryside, wages are rising rapidly across China.

China's 31 provinces boosted minimum wages by an average of 24% last year, according to Yin Weimin, China's minister of human resources and social security. Meanwhile, the average monthly income for migrant workers rose 13% to $256.89 (1,690 yuan).

Six provinces already have raised minimum wages this year, and labor shortages and government mandates will likely compel the remaining 25 to follow suit.

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