equipment repair and shortages of electricity and manufacturing inputs. On the assumption that China’s urban manufacturing workers actually worked 48 weeks during 2002, averaging 45.4 hours per week, the average annual hours worked is estimated to be 2,179 hours.
No data have been published or released on average hours worked per week by rural or TVE manufacturing employees, even though such data were collected for September 24-30, 2002, in China’s October 2002 labor force survey.125 All of the calculations that follow are therefore strictly hypothetical. Because labor laws are more explicit and more enforced in cities than outside the cities, it is likely that, during each week that manufacturing employees are actually working, those in cities work fewer hours than those outside the cities. Therefore, it is in this case reasonable to assume that TVE manufacturing workers averaged 50 hours of work per week in 2002 during those weeks that they were working. Also, assuming that TVE manufacturing employees took 2 weeks off for Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) and stopped work for another 2 weeks for reasons such as illness, injury, family emergencies, personal leave, and factory downtime due to shortages and breakdowns, this would leave 48 weeks of actual work per year. In addition, some TVE manufacturing employees who work in the same county as their home village also may be involved in agriculture during peak seasons. This assumption is made because most TVE workers come from rural households that still grow crops, and farm households tend to need all the labor they can get for planting and harvesting. However, migrant manufacturing workers would not be able to get home to participate in agriculture, and some manufacturing workers who live close to their family homes have left agriculture altogether. It is therefore reasonable to assume that, say, one- half of TVE manufacturing workers take leave from their manufacturing jobs for 2 weeks for peak planting time twice a year (assuming double-cropping, on average) and 2 weeks for each of two peak harvest seasons, thus working 40 weeks per year in manufacturing, but that the other half of TVE manufacturing workers do not do agricultural work and, as a consequence, work 48 weeks in manufacturing each year. Under these assumptions, TVE manufacturing workers would have averaged 44 weeks of actual factory work in 2002 at 50 hours per week, totaling 2,200 hours for the year.
It is possible that the above estimates for the numbers of hours worked, on average, per year by manufacturing employees in city and noncity factories are too low. Some investigations in China’s export zones in Guangdong and other coastal provinces have discovered many factories in which the employees typically work the entire year, with a 2-week holiday at Chinese New Year. In many such export-oriented factories, employees usually work 6 or 7 days each week, totaling 60 to 80 hours per week in whatever period constitutes the peak season for that manufacturing subsector.126 This season can last up to 8 months a year. Average yearly hours actually worked per employee might be as high as 4,000 hours in some China manufacturing enterprises. Suppose that, in those hardworking Guangdong factories, the average urban wage in 2002 was 14,958 yuan, as discussed shortly and as reported in table 9, and suppose also that urban earnings must be increased by 53.8 percent to include all employer social insurance payments, welfare costs, and other labor costs, giving an average annual labor compensation of 23,005 yuan, or $2,778. Then, if some city manufacturing employees worked 4,000 hours in 2002 for that income, hourly compensation was $0.69 per hour. Outside Guangdong’s cities in Guangdong Province, reported 2002 average earnings in