China's labor market sees easing pressure despite growing talent mismatch

Pressure on China's labor market has eased over the last five years, although talent mismatches have worsened during the past year, a recent report said.

Pressure on China’s labor market has eased over the last five years, although talent mismatches have worsened during the past year, a recent report from recruitment firm Hays said.

Published in conjunction with Oxford Economics, the study examined professional employment situations across 33 countries and markets, and measured the ability of companies to access skilled workers.

For China, the overall index score has decreased to 3.8 from 5.0 in 2013, indicating that the labor market has been less pressured than historical norms over the last five years, the report said.

The overall index score is an aggregate of the seven key indicators which were chosen to highlight supply-side issues, demand-side issues, or both supply and demand-side issues relating to the hiring of skilled workers.

However, the Chinese market is faced with growing talent mismatch and job vacancies and employers are finding it harder to find workers with the right skills, the report noted. Hays found that labor shortages are prevalent in Internet, e-commerce and digital roles, which are in high demand.

The signs of a talent mismatch in China means that there still exists a gap between the skills businesses are looking for and the skills available on the labor market, Simon Lance, managing director at Hays China said.

Also, wage pressure in high skill industries has increased compared to last year. The report finds that wages in high-skill industries are growing faster than in low-skill industries relative to the past, which is indicative of sector-specific skills shortages.

Take China for example. The country is seeing robust growth in scientific research and health, leading to greater industrial dispersion.

Lance added that to operate to their full potential, organizations need to be able to access the most sought-after skills. He recommends businesses and policymakers ensure that workers are prepared for technological disruption by fundamentally reviewing existing training and education programs, and to embrace diversity in all its forms.

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