Major export centers of the Pearl River Delta will raise the minimum wage by between 17% and 42% from July 1, state media reported Wednesday, citing a recent meeting of labor officials in Shenzhen. The provincial government is targeting a wage rise of 23% to US$106.20 per month in Shenzhen and a 17% increase in Guangzhou to US$100. Four other cities will raise the monthly minimum wage to US$87.50, a 22% increase for Dongguan, Zhuhai and Foshan and a 42% rise for Huizhou. The move is an effort to defuse labor shortages that have plagued pockets of the manufacturing sector since 2004, when rising rural incomes began keeping many would-be migrant workers back on the farm. Local companies are expected to be hit hardest as the majority of Hong Kong and foreign-invested factories already pay more than the minimum wage.