Business / Economy

Young migrant workers prefer Shanghai

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2012-05-02 09:50

Shanghai has been voted as the most favorable city to work in among young migrant workers, according to a recent survey.

The survey was conducted by, a job search service, from April 12 to 23 and received more than 10,000 responses. More than 20 percent of the people polled voted for Shanghai. Shenzhen and Beijing received the second- and third-most votes.

Data from the website showed that more than 95 percent of the voters from across the country were born in the 1980s and 1990s, and nearly half of them earn a monthly income of 1,500 yuan ($238) to 2,500 yuan.

Good development opportunities was the top reason they chose Shanghai. The fact that previous generations had worked and settled in the city was also a factor.

Jiang Xianhai, 20, from Lu'an, Anhui province, has worked at a furniture factory in Shanghai for four years. He has also worked in Chongqing. "Business is more prosperous in Shanghai, and the need for workers is greater," Jiang said. "And my uncles are here, so I can save money on rent."

Some businesses offer cash bonuses for workers who introduce their fellow villagers to the factory, according to research of small- and medium-sized enterprises conducted by the Shanghai SME Development and Service Center.

Chen Yan, a 32-year-old native of Wuhu city, Anhui province, said he worked in Beijing and Wuhan, capital city of Hubei province, from 2007 to March of this year, when he returned to Shanghai, where he worked as a painter for five years.

"The social welfare framework is more complete in Shanghai. I'm involved in social security policies in the city, but no employers elsewhere offered me that," Chen said.

The Social Insurance Law, which requires all individuals to be included in the social insurance system, took effect in July 2011, but experts said it was not put into practice in some places.

"Moreover, migrant workers sometimes get lower pay than what was promised, and tardy payment still exists in some provinces," said Gu Yueming, deputy director of the Shanghai SME Development and Service Center.

Salaries for migrant workers are not higher in Shanghai than other cities, according to figures collected by from employers nationwide.

"Salary alone is no longer the main factor to migrant workers. What they think highly of is the long-term development of work opportunities," said Zhang Biao, executive of Shanghai Minjie Labor Service Co, which has been in business for more than 10 years.

"They are more willing to take challenging but promising jobs rather than repetitive manual work that demands overwork and may get them decent pay," he said.

The younger generations require a better work environment and living conditions than the older generations do, according to Zhang, and some businesses in Shanghai meet the younger workers' expectations.

"Some enterprises encourage workers to place the picture of their boyfriend or girlfriend in the locker rooms, because they believe married people work for their children, but unmarried ones work for their future marriage."

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