Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 11:17 PM

Can't Find Sufficient Workers to Hire Among a Population of 1.3 Billion?

Our clients and friends that have operations in China have been telling us that it is difficult to hire enough quality workers in China. Now, the Chinese government officials are acknowledging the labor shortage problem. And there doesn't seem to be any short term solution. At the same time, there are plenty of college graduates who are having a difficult time finding jobs. This situation highlights a couple of problems that China is facing. One is that there seems to be a disconnect between education and the demand of the labor market. The programs offered in schools, both vocational schools and colleges, do not match the skill sets that companies require. Second, because of the significant difference in living standards between the coastal areas and the inland provinces, college graduates are reluctant to move to the inland provinces. Improving vocational training, as suggested in the article, is certain a step in the right direction. But it will take some time to see the effects. In the meantime, competition to hire quality workers will remain fierce. Does this signal the end of China's reputation of the cheap labor market of the world?

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