Labour shortages hit China's manufacturing sector

Lack of young workers could push up the cost of Chinese-produced goods
||Last Updated: 05/18/2006

Persistent labour shortages in China's factories are pushing up wages and benefits, which could make Chinese-made products less of a bargain, according to economists.

Government estimates suggest that major export industries are looking for at least one million more workers, but the real number could be much higher.

According to the government, minimum wages, which averaged $58 US to $74 US a month in 2004, have climbed 25 per cent in the past three years in big cities like Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai.