2015 was a bad year for the Chinese economy – GDP growth slowed to a new low, exports and imports dropped and trillions of dollars evaporated from the stock market, and yet for Chinese employees it was a wonderful year as their average wages rose by almost half, at least according to a jobs website.

Zhaopin.com, one of the largest and most popular recruitment websites in China, released its 2015 winter report on the Chinese job market this week. According to the report, employees in 32 major cities across the country were paid an average of RMB6,070, or HK$7,180, in the fourth quarter of 2015. The number is 48 percent higher than the RMB4,091, or HK$4,823, reported in the same period in 2014.

Zhaopin.com said its calculations were based on data recorded on the website.

Photo: HKFP.

Topping the list of the latest salary rankings of Chinese cities is capital Beijing, where employees earn an average of RMB9,227, or HK$10,878. Coastal cities Shanghai and Shenzhen followed with RMB8,664 (HK$10,214), and RMB7,728 (HK$9,110) respectively.

Traditional first-tier city Guangzhou, capital of the southern economic powerhouse of Guangdong, ranked only fifth, with an average salary of RMB6,913, or HK$8,150. Hangzhou, where headquarters of internet giant Alibaba is located, is No. 4 with an average wage of RMB7,097, or HK$8,367.

The Chinese stock market had a bad year in 2015. Photo: Reuters.

Netizens responded to the report with disbelief. Many said they fall below the average level reported. “I’m holding back our country again,” some joked. “How come I am in Shenzhen and I only earn 4,500 yuan?” another asked.

The report also showed jobs in the real estate and construction industries are most sought after while those in the insurance industry are the most unpopular. Chinese employees also favour state-owned companies and publicly-listed companies over other enterprises.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.