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Central China province suffers post-Spring Festival labor shortage


09:57, March 01, 2013

WUHAN, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Central China's Hubei Province is facing severe labor shortage problems, which have spread from coastal areas to the country's central and western regions.

The problems come in the wake of the week-long Spring Festival, which ended Feb. 15.

About 80,000 to 100,000 workers are needed in Wuhan, mainly in processing and manufacturing, lodging and catering as well as wholesale and retail industries, Li Yonghong, Wuhan Human Resources Market director said.

Zhu Yunde, general manager of Wuhan Qidian Human Resources Market Co., Ltd. said that unlike previous years the labor shortage now has new characteristics.

In some industrial sectors, not only are there insufficient technicians but also a lack of ordinary workers, Zhu said.

The Wuhan branch of electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn Technology Group even went to the railway station to persuade migrant workers to stay after they intended to leave to find other jobs, said Dong Yong, a spokesman for Foxconn's Wuhan branch.

The seasonal labor shortage, mainly in the service industry, is being caused by worker migration, Zhu said.

"We have signed contracts with only two people over the past six days," said Chen Mingyu, a recruiter with a mechanical company in Wuhan, who was stressed after failing to recruit at least five employees each day as his boss requires.

To attract more employees, companies in Hubei have raised their monthly salaries for an ordinary worker to 2,500 yuan (402 U.S. dollars), the average level of starting salaries in coastal areas.

Paid holidays, comfortable accommodation, and promotion opportunities are also being provided by companies in Wuhan.

But companies are worried about finding competent employees.

Chen said elder workers cannot fulfil the demand of developing companies, and young migrant workers showed little interest in tough and laborious jobs, such as those in construction and transportation.

Companies should not only raise wages but strengthen their training systems to help migrant workers develop professional skills so they can adapt to the job, Zhu said.

Meanwhile, timely and accurate employment information should be provided by the job market to help the migrant workers find suitable jobs, he added.

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