Rural labor shortage beginning to be felt
Updated: 2006-05-29 09:12 The factories and enterprises reaped profits by capitalizing on cheap land
and labor resource, but did not establish their own brands and intellectual
properties, as they failed to inject enough input into research and development.
Therefore, overproduction and excessive competition emerged in the country's
manufacturing industries. For the sake of survival, some factories kept the
salary at a low level for the rural migrant workers without buying their social
insurance, Wen said, adding that poor salary and welfare system cooled the
migrant workers' zeal for working in cities.
And some rural labor began
returning home because of poor welfare system for migrant workers in cities.
Liu Shilong, a farmer in central Henan Province, said both of his sons
have come back tilting farmland after years of work in cities, since they could
not stand heavy workload any more in their 40's and their current farmwork could
earn as much as working in cities.
China's labor resource shortage can
be ascribed to another factor: population aging.
In the past 25 years,
China's economy maintained high-speed growth thanks for sufficient laborforce at
their young and middle age. But today, China's population aging has reached the
world's average level, while per capita GDP was merely one fifth of the world's
For instance, populous Henan Province now has 7.18
million population aged 65 or above, taking up to eight percent of its total
population. In the next 20 years, its population will continue to be fast aged.
The urgent task for the government is to increase rural laborers' income
and welfares, Prof. Wen acknowledged. "When we enjoy the profits and bonuses
brought by these laborers, we should at the same time establish capital reserves
to their support for their old age."
(For more biz stories, please visit Industry Updates)