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Insurance agents are capital's best paid
By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-23 05:57

Insurance agents are the highest-paid workers in Beijing, a new government survey shows.

Bringing in an average annual salary of more than 85,000 yuan (US$10,500), insurance agents out-earn lawyers and stockbrokers and leave newspaper editors, on an average 35,000 yuan (US$4,320) per year, very much in the shade.

The survey, conducted by the Beijing Labour and Social Security Bureau, lists the payment scales for 329 jobs in Beijing, ranging from hotel managers and accountants to stewardesses and sanitation workers.

According to the survey, positions in the top pay bracket include insurance agents, lawyers, businesspeople engaged in international trade, real estate salespeople, stockbrokers and advertising designers.

Those at the high end of the pay range in these professions can earn more than 100,000 yuan (US$12,300) per year, with an insurance agent earning up to 243,000 yuan (US$30,000).

Lawyers, long regarded as the highest-paid group, at most earn 114,000 yuan (US$14,000), less than half the salary of an insurance agent.

Zong Dazhao, an insurance agent in Beijing, attributed his profession's high pay to the country's fast expanding insurance market.

"The outcome of the survey is reasonable as our agents can draw a sizable sum in commission," he said.

The survey covered nearly 1,400 Beijing-based enterprises, including State-run, collective, joint-stock and foreign invested companies.

With a sample of more than 400,000 people, the survey is intended to serve as a reference for both employers and job hunters.

The bureau also provides a pay scale for new graduates, which shows salaries ranging from 1,090 yuan (US$135) to 5,743 yuan (US$709) per month.

The average annual salary of workers in Beijing last year covering both white-collar and blue-collar professions was 28,348 yuan (US$3,500), up nearly 18 per cent from 2003.

The bureau predicts salaries will on average climb 11 per cent this year and suggests employers limit pay rises to below 16 per cent to help control the city's gross domestic product growth, inflation index and the cost of human resources.

A survey released on Wednesday in Shanghai showed that for graduates fresh out of school, positions in marketing, research and development and management attract the highest monthly base salaries: Around 3,500 yuan (US$432).

(China Daily 09/23/2005 page2)

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