30 March 2010
China labor new shortage: fewer workers with higher saleries is the new norm
After returning from the Chinese new year, its quickly becoming apparent that this year, the hottest topics being discussed by business owners in furniture manufacturing circles are:
- How many of your workers returned back to work after this year’s holiday?
- How much later did they return from their hometowns?
- How much of an increase are paying them this year as opposed to last year?
In fact, its become almost a greeting of sorts, replacing “hello” or “have you eaten yet” (a common greeting with Beijing folk). Seems every business owner is both concerned about finding workers and amazed at the salaries unskilled / uneducated laborers are now demanding. This includes their willingness to simply “walk” should you not agree to their salary requirements. A few years back, entry level office workers were on average paid more then manual laborers. Currently the reverse has now occured with a master lacquerer or experienced carpenter demanding sometimes twice as much as back-office staff are paid.
Seems Tom Russell was recently discussing this topic in Furniture Today’s sourcing strategies column.
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