Southwest China's Sichuan province will hike the minimum monthly wage by about 23.4 percent starting Jan. 1, 2012, to help attract laborers facing rapidly rising living costs, local authorities said Thursday. The minimum monthly wage will be raised to 1,050 yuan (166 U.S. dollars), 960 yuan, 880 yuan and 800 yuan in regions at different levels of development, the provincial human resources and social security office said in a statement. Sichuan, with a population of 89 million, is a major source of migrant workers for major cities around China, especially in the eastern coastal manufacturing hubs. In the southern economic powerhouse of Shenzhen, local authorities plan to raise the minimum monthly wage by 15 percent to 1,500 yuan in January to attract laborers. Severe labor shortages and rising living costs in Chinese cities prompted wage hikes both this year and last year. Twenty-one provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities had raised the minimum monthly wage by an average of 21.7 percent by October this year, according to Yin Chengji, spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.