Migrant workers in the mainland typically flock to cities to look for factory jobs, which easily pay double what they normally earn as farmers.
But as wages keep climbing, labor-intensive manufacturing is becoming less profitable, so it’s getting increasingly hard for them to find a factory job.
Yiwu, a general merchandise wholesale hub about 300 kilometers from Shanghai, is one example.
It attracts hundreds of thousands of buyers seeking to source daily necessities, many produced locally, creating demand for migrant labor.
But these days, it is common to see migrant workers flooding the streets, waiting for employers to show up, according to Japanese television broadcaster NHK.
Like other cities, Yiwu faces surging wages and rising operating costs, forcing local manufacturers to move inland to cut costs.
Although vacancies are shrinking, some migrants are staying. They don’t want to go home empty-handed.
But with more factories moving inland, some are thinking about heading home.
“I heard that in my hometown [Guizhou], wages are climbing, so maybe, I will look for a job there instead,” a migrant worker said.
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