In the August of 2002, I went to the Shenzhen & Dongguan to do researchon Japanese enterprises in southern China. Every time when I stepped into the factories, I was not stunned by the masses of young female workers there--eighty percent of the total--but their outrageously low wages. Those girls, who originally came from the rural villages to work as factory workers in the cities for about 3 years, could only earn 600 to 800 Yuan per month. That only could buy 30 Big Mac sets in MacDonald, which was considered a conspicuous and luxurious consumption in China. Though being paid indecently, these young female workers are quite contented with their work since working in the cities has allowed them to offer an adequate financial support to their families.
However, I still could not help but feel saddened when thinking of the future of those unskilled workers in China. As the local scholars told me, the income of unskilled workers will remain the same in decades. Because the labour force unremittingly released from the rural areas has been flooding into the market, the workers will have no chance to bargain with the employers. The wage disparity between the skilled and the unskilled workers will become more drastic in the future.