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More young adults prefer to work in food delivery than factories

(People's Daily Online)    17:21, March 01, 2019


This year, media reports of many large job fairs show that the shortage in recruitment of general workers in manufacturing and service industries is more worrying than ever. This may be, in part, due to a rising number of young employable adults moving away from traditional employment in factories to find work in food delivery, which offers the flexibility and freedom the younger generation desires.

Official statistics indicate that Meituan-Dianping had only 15,000 food delivery people working for the food delivery service giant in 2015, but by the fourth quarter of 2018, that figure rose exponentially, with nearly 600,000 people working on the platform on an average day.

Of those employed as food delivery drivers, most are aged between 26 and 30, while nearly 70 percent are under 35.

Additionally, more than 3 million people have registered as delivery drivers on, another food delivery company in China.

Food delivery is not an easy job. Delivery drivers are often seen speeding along streets on e-bikes regardless of wind or rain. On the contrary, those working in factories enjoy a stable working environment, explained China Youth Daily in an opinion piece on its official WeChat account.

Despite this, the generation born in the Internet era has easier access to information. They work not only for material satisfaction, but also to meet their spiritual needs.

Compared with the daily routine on a factory assembly line, the younger generation prefers flexible working hours, and a compensation model of giving more to gain more. Although workers cannot gain a specific skill via delivering food, they do get to meet new people and see new places.

China’s manufacturing sector is in a crucial period of upgrading and restructuring. If the job preference among young adults continues, factories in China may face a labor shortage, thus slowing industrial upgrading and causing more significant challenges to the entire economy. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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