Despite raises, Chinese companies struggle to hire workers

16:06, October 25, 2010      

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Chinese companies specializing in exports are still having problems recruiting laborers despite the recent increase in minimum salaries.

Latest data from the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security shows 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have raised the minimum salary standard as of September, with biggest increase averaging 24 percent.

During the Canton Fair, which recently concluded, a reporter from Guangzhou Daily found some companies still have problems finding workers although some have raised pay by 50 percent.

"This year saw the biggest rise in workers' salaries of about 50 percent," Li Zhixuan, president of a woodcraft company based in Shandong Province.

Ordinary workers in Li's company earn 2,000 yuan a month, and the skilled workers make 3,000 to 4,000 yuan per month. The pay is expected to increase by another 20 percent as the prices keep on rising in Shandong Province.

The loss of technical workers is the biggest concern for Li.

"Before the outbreak of the financial crisis, the human resources costs were about 10 percent to 20 percent of the overall cost. But it is now more than 30 percent," Huang Sijie, manager of an iron aircraft company in Xiamen of Fujian Province.

Huang said the pay for office workers in his company ranges from 1,800 to 2,000 yuan a month, much lower than the average 3,000 yuan for workers. But there is sufficient supply. In contrast, laborers are difficult to hire. Their salary can only be raised since there are thousands of competitors in Fujian Province.

Such difficulties have resulted in the postponement of the delivery of goods.

Qin Yuansheng, general manager of Huaou Group in Guangdong, said many a toy factory has delayed delivery of goods because of the difficulty in hiring workers. Many technical workers have quit their jobs and moved to companies that offer higher pay.

"The sharp rise of prices in the coastal areas is the major reason for the difficulty in hiring workers. Many workers prefer to work in second tier cities. In addition, places like Jiangxi and Anhui have raised the pay for workers. Companies in coastal regions will have to raise pay to keep their workers," a boss of a toy factory in Ningbo said.

By People's Daily Online


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