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February 23, 2010

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Employers searching for more migrants

WITH businesses expanding in an improved economy, Shanghai is in need of more migrant workers, especially in suburban areas heavy in manufacturing, such Jiading and Minhang districts, local authorities said yesterday.

To meet the labor demand, a group of 25 companies organized by the Jiading District government will go to Baoji City in northwestern China's Shaanxi Province to recruit about 5,000 workers, said Zhou Wenliang, an official with the district's migrant workers' service center.

More than 90 percent of the firms registered in the center are short of workers, with each company needing to fill an average of 20 to 30 percent of staffing needs, he said.

Zhou said most companies registered in the center are planning to employ more workers than last year because of the recovering economy.

Another factor driving the search for labor: absences caused by migrant workers who went home during the Spring Festival holiday but haven't yet returned. Last month, about 2,800 posts out of the 3,500 provided by the center's employers were in vacancy.

Zhou estimated the shortage will be relieved after the Lantern Festival on Sunday - the 15th day of the first month in the lunar calendar which marks the end of the series of celebrations starting from the Chinese New Year. Starting next month, the job market in China will enter its prime time which will last to July.

The recruitment trip to Baoji will target electricians and wielders, Zhou said. Another trip to Shaanxi will be at the second half of this year, and the district is also considering visiting southwestern China's Sichuan Province to supplement its workforce.

Zhou said salaries will stand at the same level of last year, but workers will enjoy better benefits, such as overtime payment and bonuses.

According to Zhao Jiande, director of the city's migrant workers office, the labor shortage began appearing in December. With orders on the rise, it will be a challenge for local employers to recruit enough people in the short term, Zhao said.


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