As China’s college enrollment rate continues to increase, short-term employment prospects for graduates look dim compared with those of their migrant worker counterparts, who dominate high-demand low-skill jobs with rising wages. Christina Larson reports at Bloomberg Businessweek:
Wages have been steadily rising for China’s 260 million migrant workers—who take jobs in factories, on construction sites, in restaurants, and in other sectors with minimal entry requirements. According to the government-led All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the average monthly earnings of migrant workers across China rose 11 percent from 2011 to 2012, to 2,290 renminbi ($370). That exceeds the rate of China’s GDP growth [but represents almost a 45% slow-down compared with the previous year’s growth] .
[…] Among those new graduates who did find employment last year, 69 percent had starting salaries that paid less than 2,000 renminbi per month—in other words, their jobs paid them less than they might have earned as migrant laborers, according to figures reported by a the21st Century Business Herald newspaper on Tuesday. [Source]
Graduates remain reluctant to take factory jobs, however, wary that entering the manufacturing workforce might leave them locked out of more lucrative white-collar work in the future. Read more on China’s jobless college graduates via CDT.