I was having breakfast with a friend of mine at the The Great Wall Sheraton Hotel in Beijing, among many topics we were discussing, one thing attracted my attention. “The wages of college graduates have decreased since last year,” my friend said,”There are too many people wanting two little jobs.”
My friend is a partner of a Chinese consulting firm working on projects from China Mobile, Haier, Lenovo, the airlines, banks, and Beijing 2008 Olympics. This is one of the successful companies I have seen that run by returnees, competing with McKinsey and other big consulting firms.
Chinese college graduates in Beijing and Shanghai or else where, who are making about $200 a month, are facing serious unemployment problems. According to the Ministry of Personnel, the college graduates have increased 35% over the last year. In the first quarter of 2005, there are about 3 million job openings for 7 million job seekers.
For better or worse, China’s abundant supply of labor is an equalizer that could close the gap between rich and poor countries. However, if there is a concern in America that Chinese low-cost labor will affect US high-salary jobs, Chinese themselves are the first ones to be affected.