THE average annual salary of Shanghai residents increased 10.9 percent last year to 52,655 yuan (US$8,357), compared to 2010's 9.3 percent rise, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.
Last year's highest paid jobs were in finance and public utilities industries which paid their employees 167,173 yuan and 99,457 yuan on average.
People working in household service, restaurants and agriculture were the lowest paid, with annual earnings of 23,242 yuan, 30,439 yuan and 31,765 yuan respectively.
The bureau's figures included foreigners and migrant workers living in Shanghai, it said.
However, as was the case last year, doubts were expressed about the bureau's figures. An online survey by Xinmin Evening News website found that nearly 80 percent of respondents questioned the reliability of the data, and almost 20 percent said that their salary increase in 2011 was below the 10.9 percent figure.
"My salary has not changed for three years," said Christine He, an editor at a local magazine.
"I am interested to know where the statistics bureau collect their data, and who are those people so lucky to have such a strong pay raise."
Others poked fun at themselves, apologizing for dragging down the average because their wages hadn't increased by the bureau's 10.9 percent.
In response to those doubts last year, bureau officials had said its findings represented the general condition in Shanghai, and it was normal for the figures to contradict the feelings of an individual.
There was support for the bureau's figures from Towers Watson, a global human resources consulting firm, which said average salaries in Shanghai had increased 11.5 percent last year by its calculations.
"Raising people's wages has become the most common means to retain talent," said Edward Hsu, director of the firm's global data service in China.
However, with a slowdown in Shanghai's economy, Hsu expected salary growth to moderate to 10.2 percent this year.
From tomorrow, Shanghai's minimum wage is to be raised to 1,450 yuan a month from 1,280 yuan, the highest nationwide.