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China's factory jobs face pressure

By CCTV reporter Yin Hang (CNTV)

14:03, July 31, 2013

China’s labour ministry is warning of job market pressures in the developed eastern areas -- especially compared to the rapidly growing central and western regions. BizAsia’s Yin Hang travelled to some of these areas to see how companies and jobseekers are faring.

China’s eastern Zhejiang Province used to be the heart of China’s manufacturing industry. Cities like Wenzhou, Taizhou and Ningbo were associated with factories filled with roaring machines and sweaty workers.

Although the scorching summer heat is everything else than welcoming, workers are fiercely competing for a place in the factory.

"This is a factory located in China’s eastern Zhejiang Province. The owner of the factory told me that he can get at least one call each day asking for new jobs opportunities. But unfortunately, the 51 new jobs have all been occupied." Yin Hang said.

Cheng Xiaomin runs a tour-train-making company on the outskirts of Hangzhou city. Although the company has received ample orders to survive the sluggish market demand, he is struggling to employ more people.

"It’s getting easier this year for us to find enough workers. As many sectors are more sluggish than before, the number of workers coming to my factory, which serves the tourism industry, is growing. And we can choose the best talent we want." Cheng Xiaomin, General Manager of Hangzhou Trains Equipment said.

Figures from China’s Ministry of Human Resources & Social Security show that new job vacancies in China’s eastern regions decreased by 235-thousand in the second quarter of the year, as the growth in the manufacturing sector has slowed.

More workers are now hunting job opportunities in the services sector, as it is posting a better performance thanks to the government’s pro-growth policies. New job vacancies in this sector inched up by 9000 in the second quarter compared to the previous 3 months.

Xu Xiannian provides online services in Wuhan, 700 kilometres west of Hangzhou. He says the local government is providing support to find the right kind of people to work in his company.

"The talent pools we want are ample, so we don’t worry about human resources shortages. The government have provided enough talent support for us as backups." Xu Nianlong, Executive Director of IDEA Technology in Hubei province said.

But experts say that China’s future job pipeline will mainly tap the country’s services sector. And that the current employment situation is likely to remain stable due to the huge demand for workforce.

"Because of the current demand surplus situation, China’s employment situation will not be that bad. But we believe that as China’s economic growth is slowing, pressures on employment will also rise." Lian Ping, Chief Economist of Bank of Communications said.

China added 7.25 million jobs in the first half of this year, slightly more than the year-ago period.

The government says it has already allocated 41.3 billion yuan , or 6.7 billion US dollars, this year to boost the job market. The labour ministry says it will take measures to support employment if needed.

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