Spring Festival brings labor shortage across China

China 24

Spring Festival brings labor shortage across China

Just about everyone across China looks forward to the Spring Festival holiday season – with the possible exception of some employers who must deal with a sudden labor shortage across the country.

As workers leave for their hometowns, the shortage really hits the manufacturing industry.

CGTN’s Li Jianhua has this report from a factory in Henan Province.

Chinese Lunar New Year is drawing near and many cities like this one are losing their usual vibrancy as many rural workers working here are leaving for home.

Factories are suffering from labor shortages.

“We are eager to go home at the year end, and some of us have taken our annual leave. Now we have fewer hands here, which means we have more workload. Everyone is busy. We all want to finish our work and go home to celebrate the new year,” Du Xiuying at Dishang Huaying Clothes said.

This factory has about 600 workers, which still falls short of 2,000 people. The manager attributes this to people’s changing attitudes towards life.

“This job is quite tiring. When you can do other things to make quick money, you might not want to get into an industry like clothes making,” said Ju Xialong a factory manager at Dishang Huaying Clothes.

The number of rural migrant workers in China dropped by 2.5 million, from 2015 to 2017 most in their twenties and their forties.

“When a company’s performance decreases, because of China’s slowing economy, the pay from the company would go down accordingly. Employees would feel uncomfortable with the pay, which makes turnaround pretty high,” said Ma Jinsong deputy director of Anyang Labor Security Service Center.

Ma said the Chinese government is pushing companies to take care of their employees’ social insurance, which puts more burden on some small companies.

Yan Liang discusses China labor shortages

CGTN’s Mike Walter Yan Liang spoke with Yan Liang, associate professor of Economics at Willamette University, about China’s labor shortages.