Labor crunch 'structural problem'

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, Xinhua, March 9, 2011
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China's labor shortage is expected to spread to central and western regions, from eastern coastal areas, amid a rising demand for workers, the human resources minister said on Tuesday.

Labor crunch 'structural problem'

A student examines vacancies at a job fair in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, on Tuesday. More than 6,000 employment openings were displayed at the fair, arranged specifi cally for female students on International Women’s Day. [Photo/Xinhua] 

"It is a structural problem which mainly affected the labor-intensive manufacturing and service industries in eastern coastal areas. Now it seems to be spreading to central and western China," Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, told a news conference.

His comments were echoed by Xu Shousheng, governor of Hunan province, traditionally a major source of migrant workers.

"It is not only difficult for eastern coastal areas to recruit workers, we are facing the same problem," Xu said on Tuesday.

"Due to urbanization and industrialization, many local enterprises in Hunan are also recruiting more workers. However, the labor crunch here is less severe," he said.

Apart from seasonal factors - migrant workers return home prior to and during Spring Festival holidays - labor shortages occur as demand rises with economic growth, said Yin.

Increasing numbers of migrant workers choose to work near or at home in the central and western areas as the regional economies develop rapidly, he said. On top of this, the new generation of migrant workers have higher salary and welfare expectations, he added.

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