China faces labor shortage by 2009 – CASS

China is heading for a structural shortage in labor by the year 2009, leading to higher wages, says a yesterday released report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, according to the Chinabiz Media Watch. Occasional stories on the shortage of labor have been appearing since 2004 and were always dismissed as temporary distortions of the labor market.

According to recent research by CASS the size of the rural labor surplus has always been overestimated. In stead of the assumed 100-150 million workers, only slightly over 50 million are available as migrant workers.

The report expects a shortage of labor by 2009, spreading from the coastal areas even to those provinces that have been seen as exporters of labor in the past.