Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold vs Cash in a Financial Crisis - Richard_Mills
2.Current Stock Market Rally Similarities To 1999 - Chris_Vermeulen
3.America See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon - Part2 - James_Quinn
4.Stock Market Trend Forecast Outlook for 2020 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Who Said Stock Market Traders and Investor are Emotional Right Now? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.Gold Upswing and Lessons from Gold Tops - P_Radomski_CFA
7.Economic Tribulation is Coming, and Here is Why - Michael_Pento
8.What to Expect in Our Next Recession/Depression? - Raymond_Matison
9.The Fed Celebrates While Americans Drown in Financial Despair - John_Mauldin
10.Hi-yo Silver Away! - Richard_Mills
Last 7 days
Coronavirus is America's "Pearl Harbour" Moment, There Will be a Reckoning With China - 6th Apr 20
Coronavirus Crisis Exposes Consequences of Fed Policy: Americans Have No Savings - 6th Apr 20
The Stock Market Is Not a Magic Money Machine - 6th Apr 20
Gold Stocks Crash, V-Bounce! - 6th Apr 20
How Can Writing Business Essay Help You In Business Analytics Skills - 6th Apr 20
PAYPAL WARNING - Your Stimulus Funds Are at Risk of Being Frozen for 6 Months! - 5th Apr 20
Stocks Hanging By the Fingernails? - 5th Apr 20
US Federal Budget Deficits: To $30 Trillion and Beyond - 5th Apr 20
The Lucrative Profitability Of A Move To Negative Interest Rates - Pandemic Edition - 5th Apr 20
Visa Denials: How to avoid it and what to do if your Visa is denied? - 5th Apr 20 - Uday Tank
WARNING PAYPAL Making a Grab for US $1200 Stimulus Payments - 4th Apr 20
US COVID-19 Death Toll Higher Than China’s Now. Will Gold Rally? - 4th Apr 20
Concerned That Asia Could Blow A Hole In Future Economic Recovery - 4th Apr 20
Bracing for Europe’s Coronavirus Contractionand Debt Crisis - 4th Apr 20
Stocks: When Grass Looks Greener on the Other Side of the ... Pond - 3rd Apr 20
How the C-Factor Could Decimate 2020 Global Gold and Silver Production - 3rd Apr 20
US Between Scylla and Charybdis Covid-19 - 3rd Apr 20
Covid19 What's Your Risk of Death Analysis by Age, Gender, Comorbidities and BMI - 3rd Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections & Deaths Trend Trajectory - How Bad Will it Get? - 2nd Apr 20
Silver Looks Bearish Short to Medium Term - 2nd Apr 20
Mickey Fulp: 'Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste' - 2nd Apr 20
Stock Market Selloff Structure Explained – Fibonacci On Deck - 2nd Apr 20
COVID-19 FINANCIAL LOCKDOWN: Can PAYPAL Be Trusted to Handle US $1200 Stimulus Payments? - 2nd Apr 20
Day in the Life of Coronavirus LOCKDOWN - Sheffield, UK - 2nd Apr 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Trajectory - Deviation Against Forecast - 1st Apr 20
Huge Unemployment Is Coming. Will It Push Gold Prices Up? - 1st Apr 20
Gold Powerful 2008 Lessons That Apply Today - 1st Apr 20
US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 1st Apr 20
From Global Virus Acceleration to Global Debt Explosion - 1st Apr 20
UK Supermarkets Coronavirus Panic Buying Before Lock Down - Tesco Empty Shelves - 1st Apr 20
Gold From a Failed Breakout to a Failed Breakdown - 1st Apr 20
P FOR PANDEMIC - 1st Apr 20
The Past Stock Market Week Was More Important Than You May Understand - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus - No, You Do Not Hear the Fat Lady Warming Up - 31st Mar 20
Life, Religions, Business, Globalization & Information Technology In The Post-Corona Pandemics Age - 31st Mar 20
Three Charts Every Stock Market Trader and Investor Must See - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Stocks Bear Market Trend Forecast - Video - 31st Mar 20
Coronavirus Dow Stocks Bear Market Into End April 2020 Trend Forecast - 31st Mar 20
Is it better to have a loan or credit card debt when applying for a mortgage? - 31st Mar 20
US and UK Coronavirus Trend Trajectories vs Bear Market and AI Stocks Sector - 30th Mar 20
Are Gold and Silver Mirroring 1999 to 2011 Again? - 30th Mar 20
Stock Market Next Cycle Low 7th April - 30th Mar 20
United States Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Trend Forecasts Into End April 2020 - 29th Mar 20
Some Positives in a Virus Wracked World - 29th Mar 20
Expert Tips to Save on Your Business’s Office Supply Purchases - 29th Mar 20
An Investment in Life - 29th Mar 20
Sheffield Coronavirus Pandemic Infections and Deaths Forecast - 29th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast - Video - 28th Mar 20
The Great Coronavirus Depression - Things Are Going to Change. Here’s What We Should Do - 28th Mar 20
One of the Biggest Stock Market Short Covering Rallies in History May Be Imminent - 28th Mar 20
The Fed, the Coronavirus and Investing - 28th Mar 20
Women’s Fashion Trends in the UK this 2020 - 28th Mar 20
The Last Minsky Financial Snowflake Has Fallen – What Now? - 28th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Projections Trend Forecast Into End April 2020 - 28th Mar 20
DJIA Coronavirus Stock Market Technical Trend Analysis - 27th Mar 20
US and UK Case Fatality Rate Forecast for End April 2020 - 27th Mar 20
US Stock Market Upswing Meets Employment Data - 27th Mar 20
Will the Fed Going Nuclear Help the Economy and Gold? - 27th Mar 20
What you need to know about the impact of inflation - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity, Flattening the Curve and Case Fatality Rate Analysis - 27th Mar 20
NHS Hospitals Before Coronavirus Tsunami Hits (Sheffield), STAY INDOORS FINAL WARNING! - 27th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Curve, Stock Market Crash, and Mortgage Massacre - 27th Mar 20
Finding an Expert Car Accident Lawyer - 27th Mar 20
We Are Facing a Depression, Not a Recession - 26th Mar 20
US Housing Real Estate Market Concern - 26th Mar 20
Covid-19 Pandemic Affecting Bitcoin - 26th Mar 20
Italy Coronavirus Case Fataility Rate and Infections Trend Analysis - 26th Mar 20
Why Is Online Gambling Becoming More Popular? - 26th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock Markets CRASH! - 26th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Herd Immunity and Flattening the Curve - 25th Mar 20
Coronavirus Lesson #1 for Investors: Beware Predictions of Stock Market Bottoms - 25th Mar 20
CoronaVirus Stock Market Trend Implications - 25th Mar 20
Pandemonium in Precious Metals Market as Fear Gives Way to Command Economy - 25th Mar 20
Pandemics and Gold - 25th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus Hotspots - Cities with Highest Risks of Getting Infected - 25th Mar 20
WARNING US Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Going Ballistic! - 24th Mar 20
Coronavirus Crisis - Weeks Where Decades Happen - 24th Mar 20
Industry Trends: Online Casinos & Online Slots Game Market Analysis - 24th Mar 20
Five Amazingly High-Tech Products Just on the Market that You Should Check Out - 24th Mar 20
UK Coronavirus WARNING - Infections Trend Trajectory Worse than Italy - 24th Mar 20
Rick Rule: 'A Different Phrase for Stocks Bear Market Is Sale' - 24th Mar 20
Stock Market Minor Cycle Bounce - 24th Mar 20
Gold’s century - While stocks dominated headlines, gold quietly performed - 24th Mar 20
Big Tech Is Now On The Offensive Against The Coronavirus - 24th Mar 20
Socialism at Its Finest after Fed’s Bazooka Fails - 24th Mar 20
Dark Pools of Capital Profiting from Coronavirus Stock and Financial Markets CRASH! - 23rd Mar 20
Will Trump’s Free Cash Help the Economy and Gold Market? - 23rd Mar 20
Coronavirus Clarifies Priorities - 23rd Mar 20
Could the Coronavirus Cause the Next ‘Arab Spring’? - 23rd Mar 20
Concerned About The US Real Estate Market? Us Too! - 23rd Mar 20
Gold Stocks Peak Bleak? - 22nd Mar 20

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Coronavirus-stocks-bear-market-2020-analysis

Is This the End of Cheap Chinese Labor?

Economics / China Economy May 08, 2013 - 12:38 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Economics

Greg Madison writes: It's been the lament of everyone for years now: Cheap Chinese labor is killing the job market.

With lower wages and lax regulation, the giant sucking sound we heard was manufacturing jobs headed from Sheboygan to Shenzhen.


But now China's new found riches are starting to turn in on themselves in the form of much higher wages.

In fact, The Wall Street Journal has found that over the past decade - while no one was watching - manufacturing wages in China have gone up - conservatively - by 20% annually.

And as those workers pocket ever-fatter paychecks, they're demanding more in the way of decent working conditions and better hours. And that costs money.

It's not that much different than what happened in the United States in the early 20th century. It's just that China is doing it much faster.

A Victim of Her Own Competitiveness

Like the U.S. once did, China has become a victim of her own competitiveness.

Chinese workers have now seen what's possible when they begin to demand the same conditions that American manufacturing workers enjoy. That crimps profits and manufacturers in China are, for the most part, no longer earning crazy margins.

Stanley Szeto, who runs Lever Style (a manufacturer for Armani Collezioni, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Ralph Lauren, and a slew of other brands) explained it best. He told the Journal, "Operating in Southern China is a break-even proposition at best."

A China Labor Watch report on Lever Style's factories in China is telling in this regard. The study found that, all in all, conditions in Lever Style factories are good, spared the egregious abuses that go on elsewhere in the Asian garment industry. In fact, on an A-B-C, best to worst scale, the Lever Style factories would rate an A.

So what's the problem at Lever Style? ...

In the words of the study: "...even when employed by one of the most sophisticated employers in the industry, workers are still unable to receive a wage that allows them to advance their place in society."

From a business standpoint, that's the fundamental conflict. It's how you go from huge guaranteed margins to just breaking even in a ten short years. In fact, if Lever Style wants to continue to manufacture in China, to stay competitive and do right by its workers, it's going to have to pay workers even more than it does now.

The Home of the Brave

What do rising wages in China mean for the United States?

It's simple. If Chinese workers have their hearts set on American-style working conditions, it's not unreasonable to assume that, maybe, patriotic or civic-minded American brands might think about bringing those jobs back to the America.

The good news is there are already some encouraging signs in that regard. The Boston Consulting Group did a survey of executives of 106 manufacturing companies, each with over $1 billion in sales. Fully 37% of respondents that they were "actively considering" bringing manufacturing jobs back to American shores.

Boston Consulting Group senior partner Harold Sirkin shed some light on the issue, saying that, while Chinese labor is still cheap at an average of $6 per hour, compared with a $26 hourly wage for Americans, American productivity is close to 3.4 times higher than the Chinese. A manufacturer looking for a favorable bang:buck ratio should take note since that $26 American worker starts to look a lot more competitive with the $6 worker from China.

In a welcome, bizarre, case of Americans "stealing" Chinese jobs Beijing-based computer maker Lenovo Group Limited (ADR) (OTC:LNVGY) is hanging up its shingle in Whitsett, NC. Lenovo will build a manufacturing line there, reports The Washington Post. And in this case wages are only a small part of the equation. Lenovo is looking enter the American market while shortening its logistics chain. Rising energy, and therefore transport, costs have had an influence as well.

So What's Next?

Of course, it's just as likely that at least some manufacturers will move just around the corner from China, to markets like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and India. These countries have something of a manufacturing base already, especially in the case of Vietnam, and most would be only too happy for the business. But even these countries are seeing wage increases.

The end result will probably involve at least slightly higher consumer prices for manufactured goods. But that's not where the possibilities end-not by a long shot.

Even further down the line, higher wages could lead to a new kind revolution in China, as Communist dictatorship yields to middle class pressures for democratic reform.

We've seen what a middle class - even the memory of one - can help do in Communist countries; it's one of the reasons why Poland, for example, is a success story while Kyrgyzstan isn't.

Longer term, just don't be surprised if the United States enjoys a renaissance in manufacturing, once again claiming her position as workshop to the world.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/05/03/is-this-the-end-of-cheap-chinese-labor/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules