ms offer fewer jobs for winter

Updated: 2016-01-07 08:27

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou(China Daily)

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Level of seasonal employment in Dongguan has fallen substantially from previous years

The demand for seasonal winter workers has dropped this year by more than 50 percent in Dongguan, a major production base in Guangdong province, and one of the reasons may be the increasing use of robots, according to an employment professional.

"A growing number people are now arriving in Dongguan to become temporary workers during the winter vacation, but the number of companies that are seeking temporary workers is down compared with the previous year," said an executive surnamed Xu at a job-search market in Dongguan.

Most of the people seeking employment are polytechnic school students from Guizhou, Yunnan and other provinces and regions in the inland areas, Xu said.

A staff member at a job agency in Dongguan's Houjie township also said many local companies once sought employees at the start of a new year.

"But the number of companies has been reduced while the number of job seekers has grown this year," said the staff member, who did not want to be named.

Most of the temporary workers earned between 2,000 and 4,000 yuan ($320 to $640) a month in January and February, he added.

Apart from the poor global economic performance, the introduction of industrial robots and other high-tech equipment is the main force behind the reduction in demand for temporary workers in Dongguan this year, insiders say.

According to Xu, one company reduced the number of front-line workers by about 90 percent when around 1,000 industrial robots were put into operation earlier last year.

"With the use of industrial robots, the company only needs to recruit a few software technicians and management personnel," Xu said.

He said robots will help companies maintain production stability and product quality.

"Using robots can help manufacturing companies to upgrade their production processes, reduce costs and ensure the quality of their products," Xu said.

"The use of industrial robots may become even more significant in the future, as Guangdong's manufacturing industry seeks to adjust to labor shortages," he said.

Economists have suggested that the Pearl River Delta - in particular the major cities of Guangzhou, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Foshan, Huizhou and Dongguan - should further upgrade their technology and make much greater use of intelligent robots.

The authorities in Guangdong have said they will invest 943 billion yuan ($152 billion) to replace people with robots over the next three years.

The local government will push for the use of robots by 1,950 companies across the province, and it plans to build two advanced robot production plants by the end of 2017.

More than 80 percent of manufacturing operations in Guangzhou, the province's capital, will be using industrial robots and related "intelligent" technologies by 2020.