More than 60 percent of the 16 places in China that adjusted their minimum wages in 2012 saw those wages increase less this year than they had last.
Data showed that the minimum wages paid in Beijing, Tianjin, Shenzhen and other places increased less than they had in 2011, Beijing Business News reported.
The minimum wage in Tianjin increased the least among the 16 cities and provinces that made adjustments to the payment standards, going from 1,160 yuan ($181.9) in 2011 to 1,310 yuan this year, up 12.9 percent year-on-year. The year before, the city's minimum wage had gone up by 26 percent year-on-year.
The city's GDP, meanwhile, increased by 16.4 percent year-on-year in 2011 but only 14.17 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012.
Sichuan province saw the growth rate of its minimum wage decrease by 7.2 percentage points from 2011 to 2012 and Shenzhen, Guangdong province, saw its growth rate fall by 6.4 percentage points year-on-year.
The newspaper reported that economists were saying that some local governments had purposely impeded increases in minimum wages to lower local businesses' costs and ensure that local economies continue to grow steadily as China's economy slows down. They called for a mechanism to be adopted to keep minimum wages increasing at a reasonable pace.