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Rising Labor Shortage Hits the Interlining Industry in China

Written by Strategic Planning Team
Wednesday, 15 December 2010, 10:10


The current labor market in China brought about a difficult period for the service and manufacturing industries. There is no exception to the interlining industry for woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining.


“When you read in newspaper like China Daily, you will find the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas are suffering from the shortfall of migrant workers,” according to Sam Lee, the Managing Director in Interlining Source Limited, “of all industries, service and manufacturing industries suffer most.”


The labor shortage has impact these industries since this spring, due to the increasing living costs and stagnant salaries. “It is being worse recently,” said Sam, “an interlining supplier might never think about this situation in the past. You are not only snatching workers from your competitors in the manufacturing industry, but also encountered the fierce competition from the service sectors.”


According to Sam, up to 75% of the interlining suppliers have been recruiting new employees since this spring. However, a large part of job vacancies in the interlining industry have not been filled.


“It is still not the worse of times for the interlining suppliers producing woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining,” Sam pointed out, “the situation will become even worse in late December and next January, as the Spring Festival is approaching in the early February next year.”


The job vacancies were caused simply by that demand for labor was much high than supply. “Migrant workers born in the 1990s are pickier on salaries and work conditions. It is extremely difficult to stable the workforce in the production line for interlining products such as woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining,” said Sam, “it is not possible to find enough hands during these days. Filling all job vacancies for an interlining supplier has become a luxury.”


The current labor shortage in the interlining industry is mainly attributed to the soaring cost of living coupled with stagnant income growth, explained by the experts in the economics.


The current monthly payment for a worker in the manufacturing industries can barely cover food costs in the developed economic zones. “This situation prompted the migrant workers to choose to stay in their hometowns.” said Sam, “though they earn less, but spend less as well. Moreover, they won’t get lost in the high working pressure at the Yangtze and Pearl River deltas.”


The expansion plans of companies were influenced by the serious labor shortages in the southern part of China. “Manufacturers have to give up orders on woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining because of short hands! Christmas and New Year periods are always the busiest for products, but now, we have to give up orders if the ultimate measure, outsourcing, is not available at all,” according to Sam.


Some business owners in the interlining industry were forced to move their production workshops to rural areas, where the migrant workers come from. “Fortunately we have a production based in Central China and Vietnam. This helps alleviate the impact by the labor shortage,” said Sam.


The situation will become even worse in February next year. The labor shortage as pointed out by the economic experts will last for years in the Pearl River delta for years. “The problems on labor shortage, however, will urge the interlining suppliers for woven interlining, non-woven interlining and fusible interlining to upgrade the industrial structure,” said Sam. Indeed, it is also true to the coastal areas of China.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010, 14:20