Mandarin plays big part in migrant workers’ salary

The level of fluency in Mandarin has significant influence on migrant workers’ wage, Workers’ Daily reported.

A team lead by Professor Cheng Hong of Wuhan University analyzed data from China Employer-Employee Survey 2015-2016 and 12,369 questionnaires collected from employers and employees in Guangdong and Hubei provinces.

Data from the research show that compared with migrant workers who speak poor Mandarin, those whose Mandarin level are medium and high earn 19.4 percent to 21 percent and 30.3 percent to 34.94 percent more. Fluency in Mandarin also facilitates migrant workers’ social capital accumulation and career development.

The research conclusion is felt by many migrant workers.

Xu Xinfu, 47, works at a construction site in Xianning, Central China’s Hubei province. He went to big cities for jobs when he was young, but failed to find any work because he did not speak Mandarin and his dialect was hard to understand. He went back to his hometown and began learning Mandarin. Now he has no problem communicating with people in Mandarin. His salary rose to more than 2,000 yuan per month from 1,000.

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The research team suggests that the government should implement policies that raise migrant workers’ use of Mandarin, schools should increase teaching of Mandarin in rural areas and enterprises should provide more on-the-job training of Mandarin.

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