Chinese provinces roll out measures to retain workers for factory production during Spring Festival
Tight labor forecasted for manufacturers after Spring Festival
Published: Dec 25, 2022 06:31 PM
Employees assemble cars at a vehicle manufacturer in Bozhou, East China's Anhui Province on July 12, 2022. Assembly lines at the manufacturer are busy stamping, welding, painting and putting together new cars despite hot weather. Photo: cnsphoto

Employees assemble cars at a vehicle manufacturer in Bozhou, East China's Anhui Province on July 12, 2022. Assembly lines at the manufacturer are busy stamping, welding, painting and putting together new cars despite hot weather. Photo: cnsphoto

Shanghai, Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces in China's coastal regions have actively rolled out measures to retain workers for ensuring business operation during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday in late January, while planning to hire new workers after the holiday amid expected order growth.

Shanghai announced measures encouraging enterprises to retain workers for normal operations, including handing out allowances and stepping up the supply of anti-COVID medical products, according to a circular on the local government's website.

The industrial city encourages e-commerce platforms and express firms to continue their services, and will issue allowances of 60 yuan ($8.59) per worker per day for frontline workers starting from Sunday and ending on January 27, 2023. A subsidy of 150 yuan per worker per day will be handed out during the upcoming New Year holiday and the Spring Festival holiday.

North China's Shanxi Province launched similar policies on Friday, granting allowances of up to 1,500 yuan per person for courier firms in the coming six months.

The measures came as the number of parcels to be delivered soars during the peak shopping season prior to the Spring Festival. Many courier firms have seen shortages in delivery workers due to the increase of COVID-19 cases.

According to the Ministry of Transport, the number of parcels collected across the country reached 298 million on Saturday, up 5.7 percent from Friday, while 324 million parcels were delivered, up 1.9 percent.

Apart from Shanghai and Shanxi, many other manufacturing provinces are ramping up efforts to retain workers who will continue factory operations during the upcoming holidays.

Guangdong Province has taken the initiative to hire new employees. On December 19, 10 key enterprises and human resources firms in Zhongshan, a city in Guangdong, set out to neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to recruit new employees for the coming year, according to a report on the website of the Human Resources and Social Security Department of Guangdong.

It is reported that from December 19 to the end of March 2023, Guangdong will organize over 2,000 matchmaking recruitment events in other provinces to ensure the smooth operation of manufacturers in Guangdong.

Jinjiang, East China's Fujian Province recently launched 12 measures to encourage employees to stay put for the Spring Festival holiday, including 5 million yuan worth of consumption vouchers and free use of mobile broadband.

The proactive actions reflect local governments' determination to make up for the time lost during the protracted pandemic and make solid preparations for a growth sprint in 2023, said Zhou Dewen, deputy director of the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.

"Generally, migrant workers tend to return to their hometowns for family reunion for the important holidays. This year, many started to leave for home at the beginning of December," Chen Guibin, a representative from Guangdong-based Dongguan Chaojie Silicon Rubber Products Co, told the Global Times on Sunday.

He said the recent scrapping of mandatory quarantine measures facilitated workers' return to their hometowns, while some enterprises in Dongguan have suspended operations due to a surge in infections.

"About half of our employees have contracted the virus, and we have tried to arrange employees' working in batches. Currently, most of our workers are staying at their posts and prefer to stay put," he said.

In order to encourage employees to return to work early, Chen said that the company grants extra bonuses. "There may be a temporary tight supply of labor after the Spring Festival, but the problem would ease in about two weeks," he said.

The implementation of more favorable policies after the Central Economic Work Conference as well as domestic enterprises' striving for more orders after the optimization of anti-COVID measures will inject new vitality into the economy and prompt the return of workers, Zhou told the Global Times on Sunday.

The Chinese economy has passed its most challenging period, and the economy is to stage strong growth in 2023, Yin Yanlin, deputy director of the General Office of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission, said at a forum held in Beijing on Saturday, according to a report by Beijing Daily.