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China – Employers scramble for workers following the Spring Festival

11 February 2014

In the wake of the Spring Festival holiday, businesses in southern China are scrambling to source new workers, according to the Chinese-language newspaper Guangzhou Daily, reports wantchinatimes.com

Numerous manufacturing enterprises in Guangdong province, China's manufacturing powerhouse, have wasted no time in staging labour recruitment events, offering pay hikes of up to +20% on top of a variety of fringe benefits.

This is an annual ritual following the Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival holidays, as many workers take their year-end bonus and quit. Guangdong is slowly being drained of its migrant workforce as many seek new jobs with higher pay or simply return to their hometowns where job prospects are more promising.

Labour shortages have become an increasingly serious problem for factories in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong. The city of Foshan expects to experience a shortfall of 70,000 to 80,000 workers.

According to a study by local recruiters, the top five industrial sectors seeking workers are electronics, traditional manufacturing, finance, estate agents, and communications. Marketing personnel are most in demand, followed by manufacturing positions, R&D and general management. Service sector jobs; such as call centre staffers and front desk clerks, are also widely needed.

Job vacancies posted at labour recruitment events by enterprises in Jiangmen, a city in the delta, typically number in the several dozen or even in the hundreds. The city's human resources and social security department reported that post-holiday labour needs have reached 60,000 for front-line workers, 75% of which are manufacturing positions, 13% technical jobs, and 2% management.

In Zhongshan, some 600,000 migrant workers returned to their hometowns for the Spring Festival holiday, 95% of whom are expected to come back to the city. However, the 5% shortfall leads to a labour shortage of 60,000, a seasonal problem and can be corrected by the end of March, according to Huang Zhiwei, deputy chief of the city's human resources and social security department.

Huang reported that his department has so far organised two delegations of local enterprises to travel to neighbouring Guangxi on recruitment missions. The expedition will extend to Hunan and other neighbouring provinces later on.

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