Home / Business / Macro

China to face labor shortage | Updated: 2013-03-14 13:30

The coastal province of Guangdong in South China owes much of its economic success to the manufacturing industry. But in recent years, the region has suffered a shortage of labor. Our reporter Liao Ruochen tells us why and more.

Get Flash Player

After Spring Festival, millions of people are arriving at Guangzhou's railway station to return to the cities they work in, all over Guangdong province. And Chen Leyi is one of them. He has been working in Guangdong for 10 years, and this is the journey he sets out on every year.

Although he has travelled this way for more than 10 years, he's never stayed in the city itself. The prosperity of the city is just a passing scene and his thoughts are always thousands of kilometers away.

Chen Leyi, a migrant worker, said, "My family is in my hometown. Two of my children are still in school. We have some farmland, and raise some pigs, but that is far from enough. So most of the income of my family still comes from me."

Finally we get to the destination of his journey, a small industrial park located in a suburb of Guangzhou.

Lin Lijun, manager of Huike Inc, said, "In recent years, what the factories urgently need is skilled workers. Many companies are offering better salaries and benefits to attract these workers, like our company. For some other companies that need a large number of ordinary workers on the assembly line, they suffer the worst from the shortage of labor."

In nearby towns, the same situation can be seen on the human resource markets. The government has increased minimum wages from 1300 yuan to around 1500, but the wages for skilled workers is already much higher than that. And for ordinary workers, it is not that attractive either, because they can find jobs with similar wages near their hometown.

It's been really difficult to hire workers this year. The companies are already facing challenges from rises in material costs, logistics costs and rent, and can spare little money to improve wages.

The manufacturing industry has left the impression of being labor intensive, and having low added value. With the tide of economic development, maybe the time has come for this image to change.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349