China reports a growing shortage of factory workers


Employees work on a production line at a Honda factory in Dongfeng after lockdown measures were further eased in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China’s epicenter of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on April 8, 2020.

Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING – Manufacturers in China are finding it more difficult to hire.

The government’s list of 100 jobs and the largest labor shortage in the fourth quarter found 36 or more than a third of jobs in manufacturing, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said Tuesday.

Among the new additions to the list, 15 related to manufacturing. Sixteen other items already on the list say labor shortages are worsening, according to the ministry.

At the top of the list were marketing workers, followed by plumbing and security guards.

Overall, the number of job vacancies in the rankings rose to 1.418 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of around 100,000 compared to 1.316 million in the previous quarter, the ministry said. The number of job seekers has decreased slightly during this time, the report says.

Less developed parts of China have seen rapid growth in recent years, while many people chose not to return to work in the cities after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted China’s economy early last year.

The number of rural migrant workers fell by 5.17 million last year to 285.60 million, the National Bureau of Statistics said earlier this month.

China’s urban unemployment rate was 5.2% in December, after a record high of 6.2% in February 2020 during the country’s worst coronavirus pandemic. Many analysts question the accuracy of the official unemployment data.

The country said 11.86 million new urban jobs were created last year, surpassing the government’s target of 9 million but less than the 13.52 million created in 2019.