Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chinese now facing shortage of manual assembly line workers in interior areas

Here’s an important story with a moral message: “Chinese plants starting to feel labor shortage: rising pay may mean higher prices in U.S., by Keith Bradsher, The New York Times, Saturday Feb. 27, 2010, link here.

Industrial workers in the interior (such as Gzuangzhou) are getting signing bonuses. But many of the jobs are tedious, face-paced assembly line jobs. It used to be that employers didn’t hire over age 35; now it’s 40. The pay has spiked from 80 cents an hour in 2008 to $1.17 today, several factors less than the US minimum wage.

There are some explanations for the shortage, including China’s one child per family policy. There is a tactical reason, also, having to do with the travel of workers for the Chinese New Year.

This all invokes Ted Koppel's 2008 Discovery documentary, "The People's Republic of Capitalism". It also reminds one of the series "Dirty Jobs" also on Discovery.

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