Statistics released by Shanghai’s relevant departments show that the number of foreigners living in Shanghai has exceeded 300,000, coming from 119 different countries and regions. In the first half of this year, the proportion of foreigners applying for employment in Shanghai increased by 31.79 percent compared with the same period last year.
Most countries hold that in an international metropolis the proportion of foreign employees should account for more than 5 percent of the total number of people. According to this ratio, Shanghai should have 700,000 foreign employees, but presently, the number is far lower than that. With the increasing pace of Shanghai’s internationalization, the number of foreigners coming to the city is expected to increase enormously.
In Shanghai’s employment markets, fierce competitions exist not only among Chinese people, but also between Chinese and foreigners. What’s more, there appears to be a situation where foreigners and Chinese are scrambling for the same “rice bowl.” Over the last three years the number of foreigners coming to Shanghai has increased by 10 percent per year.
The international division of the Shanghai Bureau of Personnel reports that foreigners seeking jobs in Shanghai come from two major groups.
Foreign experts constitute the first group. Shanghai has engaged over 250,000 various foreign experts since the starting the 9th Five-Year Plan period (1995-2000). Currently, of the 80,000 foreign experts working in Shanghai, over 70 percent occupy middle class management positions, or above, in around 20 thousand foreign enterprises.
The other group compromises foreign self-employed and employees. Rough estimates suggest that foreign run restaurants in Shanghai alone have reached 300. The fields in which employees are now working are more extensive. Previously they were cooks in restaurants, and singers in bars, but now there are more and more foreign people working for a whole range of enterprises.
Canadian Robert B. Smith, general manager of Manpower Business Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., is very confident about the future of talent and human resource markets in Shanghai. With Shanghai becoming more internationalized, many more overseas enterprises are coming to Shanghai to do business. Naturally, the demand for talent will increase. Manpower is a solely foreign-invested headhunting company ranked within the world’s top 200.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiao, November 14, 2002)