China's migrant workers could be a major driver of consumption if they are given legal status and access to services in cities they work in, according to a new government paper, Reuters reported. China's National Population and Family Planning Commission stated in its annual report that migrant workers have been receiving steady pay raises for years and that - spending on average 56% of their salary in 2011 - they represent a huge pool of potential consumer spending. Monthly spending per capita among China's 230 million migrants rose RMB230 (US$36) to RMB2,253 per worker in 2011 compared to the previous year. Yet only 23.1% of migrant workers are covered by pension insurance, 13.6% by unemployment insurance and 64.3% by medical insurance. That forces migrants to save as a precautionary measure, leading them to spend far less than their city-dwelling counterparts.