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[China's “Two Sessions”全国两会] Labor crunch 'structural problem劳动危机源于劳动关系结构变化

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2011-3-9 10:44

A student examines vacancies at a job fair in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, on Tuesday. More than 6,000 employment openings were displayed at the fair, arranged specifi cally for female students on International Women’s Day. [Photo/Xinhua]
把握当下,才能创造继起的生命;展望未来,应该把握当下的机缘。
Seize this moment to create the future. Seize present causes and conditions to improve the future.
Worker scarcity is no longer confined to eastern areas, minister says

BEIJING - China's labor shortage is expected to spread to central and western regions, from eastern coastal areas, amid a rising demand for workers, the human resources minister said on Tuesday.

Special Coverage:
Labor shortage hits China

"It is a structural problem which mainly affected the labor-intensive manufacturing and service industries in eastern coastal areas. Now it seems to be spreading to central and western China," Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, told a news conference.

His comments were echoed by Xu Shousheng, governor of Hunan province, traditionally a major source of migrant workers.

"It is not only difficult for eastern coastal areas to recruit workers, we are facing the same problem," Xu said on Tuesday.

"Due to urbanization and industrialization, many local enterprises in Hunan are also recruiting more workers. However, the labor crunch here is less severe," he said.

Apart from seasonal factors - migrant workers return home prior to and during Spring Festival holidays - labor shortages occur as demand rises with economic growth, said Yin.

Increasing numbers of migrant workers choose to work near or at home in the central and western areas as the regional economies develop rapidly, he said. On top of this, the new generation of migrant workers have higher salary and welfare expectations, he added.

After decades of rapid development on the back of a rich reservoir of cheap labor, many labor-intensive industries in the east have relocated to the interior because of rising labor costs. A momentum is gathering that sees migrant workers leaving cities to return to their rural hometowns.

Rising labor costs could see industry relocate and transform the growth pattern, said Yin.

Labor crunch 'structural problem'

Xu said that more than 12 million people would leave Hunan annually for work, but he estimated that there would be 500,000 to 800,000 fewer people leaving this year.

"If they can find a decent job near home, even if the pay is lower, they'd rather stay near their families," said Xu, adding that he welcomes companies to set up factories in Hunan as long as they "do not pollute".

Xu encouraged skilled migrant workers who have worked in cities like Guangzhou and Shenzhen to come back to start their own enterprises in the province.

The labor shortage will persist during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period as the economy restructures, said Cai Fang, director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who is also a deputy to the ongoing National People's Congress annual session.

After decades of economic boom on the back of cheap labor and intensive energy use, China wants to make the economy more technology-dependant and boost domestic consumption.

"In the process, we need to step up vocational training for migrant workers so that they can keep up with the industrial restructuring," he added.

Yin said China still has a surplus of labor, with about 8 million people in rural areas and 24 million urban residents waiting to be employed this year, including 14 million college and high school graduates.

He also said that the aging population poses a huge challenge to the pension system.

There are 170 million people over the age of 60, 12.8 percent of the population.

"How to increase pensions has become a problem," he said.
把握当下,才能创造继起的生命;展望未来,应该把握当下的机缘。
Seize this moment to create the future. Seize present causes and conditions to improve the future.

习近平:社会管理新问题往往在发展较快地区早发先发

中共中央政治局常委、中央书记处书记、国家副主席、中央军委副主席习近平来到全国人大浙江代表团驻地看望代表。习近平说,要根据经济转型发展给社会建设带来的新情况,继续强化构建和谐劳动关系,大力推进社会建设和社会管理创新。“春江水暖鸭先知”。浙江是全国经济发展较快的地区,社会建设和管理中的一些新情况新问题也往往比其他地方早发先发。要认真学习贯彻最近举行的中央省部级主要领导干部专题研讨班精神,坚持以服务民生为重点,全面落实中央的各项惠民政策,扎实为群众办实事、办好事,努力让人民群众的收入更多一点,安全感更强一些,幸福指数更高一点,让人民群众享受更多的发展成果。要从根本上化解社会矛盾,维护社会和谐稳定。要加强理想信念教育,形成正确的导向,提供强大的动力。要创新管理理念、制度、手段、方法,坚持和发展“枫桥经验”,着力提高社会管理科学化水平。要积极构建和谐劳动关系。浙江在多年锲而不舍的实践中,积累了构建和谐劳动关系的宝贵经验,并涌现出一大批劳动关系和谐的先进典型。要进一步总结经验,把实施积极的劳动就业政策与构建和谐劳动关系结合起来,健全协调劳动关系三方机制,发挥政府、工会和企业的作用,努力形成企业职工利益共享机制,建立规范有序、公正合理、互利共赢、和谐稳定的劳动关系,切实维护劳动者的合法权益。

习近平指出,要以改革创新精神,进一步加强和改进党的建设,为“十二五”时期的发展提供坚强保证。浙江省委历来高度重视抓党的建设,党的建设有比较好的基础。现在,新的形势和新的任务对党的建设提出了新的更高要求。要以纪念中国共产党成立90周年为契机,扎实推进学习型党组织建设,进一步加强党史的学习教育,回顾党的伟大光辉历程,让大家切身感受到没有共产党就没有新中国,没有共产党就没有中国特色社会主义。要扎实开展创先争优活动,形成学习先进,争创先进、赶超先进的良好氛围,进一步增强各级党组织的凝聚力和创造力。要认真抓好集中换届工作,坚持德才兼备、以德为先的用人导向,认真贯彻新修改的选举法,切实严肃换届纪律,坚决查处换届选举中的违法行动,保证换届风清气正。

见面会结束后,习近平起身离席,立刻又被热情的代表们团团围住。握不够的手,说不完的话,这是5000多万浙江人民对一位为我省发展倾注了大量心血的老书记的情感和热爱,也是大家不辜负中央领导对浙江科学发展、和谐发展期望的决心表白。
把握当下,才能创造继起的生命;展望未来,应该把握当下的机缘。
Seize this moment to create the future. Seize present causes and conditions to improve the future.
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