China: Employment Trends
by Going Global
The employment outlook in China is one of the most promising in the Asia Pacific region. Half of China’s employers plan to increase staff in the near future. High turnover in the country means that employers are concerned with retaining top talent. Additionally, a talent shortage exists in the country at all levels of occupations.
Employment and Hiring Outlook
China has the most promising employment outlook in the Asia Pacific region. About half of the country’s employers plan to increase staff in the near term. The majority of companies planning to increase staff are focusing on mid-level and front-line positions, and particularly on revenue-generating roles.
Some 40 percent of employers in China expect staff turnover to increase. As a result, the attraction and retention of top talent is becoming a primary business concern. Companies will offer incentives, as well as training and development opportunities, to keep their best people.
Employers in China are faced with a talent shortage in positions ranging from production operations to management/executives, and the shortage is even more severe than in previous years. The talent shortage is also occurring at multiple levels of occupations from production operators to technicians.
Growing urbanization will help define China and its people for the next 20 years. Approximately 200 million rural laborers and their dependents have relocated to urban areas, accounting for 60 percent of China’s urban workforce. Many of them are second- generation and have no experience in farming. Another 100 million rural residents could move to cities by 2020.
China annually produces one of the largest populations of highly-educated graduates in the world—a staggering six million in 2010. However, in spite of its 92 percent literacy rate, China’s education system is outdated. Deficient in social sciences and humanities, Chinese college and university graduates know relatively little about anthropology, sociology, international relations, comparative literature and history. This presents a challenge for China to be able to produce enough highly-trained talent to compete with the world’s best.