It’s been the lament of everyone for years now: Cheap Chinese labor is killing the job market.
With lower wages and lax regulation, the giant sucking sound we heard was manufacturing jobs headed from Sheboygan to Shenzhen.
But now China’s new found riches are starting to turn in on themselves in the form of much higher wages.
In fact, The Wall Street Journal has found that over the past decade – while no one was watching – manufacturing wages in China have gone up – conservatively – by 20% annually.
And as those workers pocket ever-fatter paychecks, they’re demanding more in the way of decent working conditions and better hours. And that costs money.
It’s not that much different than what happened in the United States in the early 20th century. It’s just that China is doing it much faster.
A Victim of Her Own Competitiveness
Like the U.S. once did, China has become a victim of her own competitiveness.
Chinese workers have now seen what’s possible when they begin to demand the same conditions that American manufacturing workers enjoy. That crimps profits and manufacturers in China are, for the most part, no longer earning crazy margins.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
We can now discern more or less when the catch-up growth miracle will sputter out. Another seven years or so – enough to bouy global coal, crude, and copper prices for a while – but then it will all be over. China’s demographic dividend will be exhausted. Beijing revealed last week that the country’s working … Continue reading »
The Chinese Career Women Survey Report recently released by Career International－a leading one-stop recruitment solution provider in Asia, shows that 38.9 percent of working women surveyed are unhappy about their last pay rise and 59.9 percent intend to change jobs. Career International conducted a questionnaire survey on 1,700 people in February 2013, with women, mostly …Continue reading »
Rumors of a rising Chinese middle class have been touted widely. However, the evidence supporting these claims remains conflicting at best. The “middle-class” jobs outsourced from the United States have not necessarily translated to “middle-class” jobs in developing nations, especially in China. Defining the middle class has always been a difficult venture, but on several …Continue reading »
China’s working-age population shrank in 2012, marking the beginning of a trend that will accelerate over the next two decades and have profound implications for the world’s second-largest economy. By the end of December China’s population aged between 15 and 59 was 937.27 m, a decrease of 3.45m from 2011, according to figures released by … Continue reading »
Shift from coastal regions creates vacancies in central, western China China’s fast-developing economy is thirsty for talent, with skilled workers required by almost every industry. The nation’s human resources market experienced uneven development in 2012, akin to the pattern of its economic growth. Central, western and northeastern regions of the country were expected to notch … Continue reading »
Understanding unemployment and wage growth are crucial for understanding developments in the world’s second largest economy, not to mention the future price of everything from Nike sneakers to Apple iPhones. The official data is improving, with new information on migrant worker and private sector wages. But it remains scarce and in some cases unreliable, especially … Continue reading »
Shenzhen has raised its monthly minimum wage levels by RMB100 to RMB1,600 from March 1, 2013, while its hourly minimum wages have been adjusted from RMB13.3 to RMB14.5. This news comes after Guangdong Province recently announced wage hikes of nearly 20 percent that would have seen Guangzhou overtake Shenzhen as the city with the highest monthly minimum …Continue reading »