显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭







The End of Cheap Labor in China 中国结束了廉价劳动  

2011-07-05 10:37:14|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
                 On May 25, U.S. businessman Charles Hubbs made the short trek to Hong Kong from his office just outside Guangzhou, a city in Guangdong province in southeastern China that is known for good reason as the manufacturing workshop of the world. For the 64-year-old native of Louisiana, it was a trip that may have marked the beginning of the end of his successful 22-year run as a China-based exporter of medical supplies. 美国商人查尔斯-赫伯斯的办公室坐落在广州市外靠着广州。这座城市在中国东南面的广东省内,曾被人称为世界制造车间。五月25日,赫伯斯从广州步行到香港。对这位64岁美国路易斯安那州的居民来说,这次旅行标志着以中国为基地成功经营了22年医疗用品出口商人的结束。

           Hubbs was going to listen to a pitch from the American ambassador in Cambodia, Carol Rodley, and the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Phnom Penh. Their aim was simple: to get foreign investors, particularly those already with operations in China, to consider setting up shop in Cambodia. Hubbs was all ears. To hear him tell it, the price of labor is on the brink of making his firm, Guangzhou Fortunique, which supplies some of the U.S.'s biggest health care companies, uncompetitive. "We've seen our wage costs in China go up nearly 50% in the last two years alone," he says. "It's harder to keep workers on now, and it's more expensive to attract new ones. It's gotten to the point where I'm actively looking for alternatives. I think I'll be out of here entirely in a couple of years." 赫伯斯打算听听美国驻柬埔寨大使卡萝-罗德里和金边美国商会董事长的调子。他们的目的单纯;只要得到外国投资人,特别是已经在中国经营的,打算在柬埔寨开店。赫伯斯洗耳恭听着。要听他讲述这件事,劳动力价格使他公司;广州Fortunique,濒临崩溃。这个公司为美国最大的,缺乏竞争力的健康保健公司供货。他说:“我们在中国已经看到我们每个人的工资在最近两年里增加了50%”。“现在,要留住工人很困难,吸引新员工要花费更昂贵的代价。直截了当地说;我正在积极地寻找替补人员。我想,两年里我会彻底溜之大吉”。

         He is not alone. In what is supposed to be a land of unlimited cheap labor — a nation of 1.3 billion people, whose extraordinary 20-year economic rise has been built first and foremost on the backs of low-priced workers — the game has changed. In the past decade, according to Helen Qiao, chief economist for Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, real wages for manufacturing workers in China have grown nearly 12% per year. That's the result of an economy that's been growing by double digits annually for two decades, fueled domestically by a frenzied infrastructure and housing build-out — one that, for now anyway, continues apace — combined with what was for a time an almost unquenchable thirst for Chinese exports in the developed world. Add to that the fact that in the five largest manufacturing provinces, the Chinese government — worried about an ever widening gap between rich and poor — has raised the minimum wage 14% to 21% in the past year. To Harley Seyedin, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, the conclusion is inescapable: "The era of cheap labor in China is over." 他不孤单。理应是不限制廉价劳力的国土——一个具有13亿人口的国度,非凡20年的经济升程首先依靠低价工人们支持而建起的,然而,这种游戏已经改变。过去的十年里,按海伦-桥,香港高盛公司首席经济学家的说法;中国生产工人的实际工资每年增长将近12%。这是经济每年双位数增长持续了20年的结果。这也受到国内基础设施和住房建设飞速发展的激励——现在,无论如何,还要继续飞速发展——一度产生的要将中国产品出口到发达国家的渴望几乎是不可制止的。过去一年里,加上出现五个最大制造业省份这个事实,中国政府担心扩大的贫富差别——把最低工资提升了14%到21%。美国商会董事长哈雷-赛亚丁认为这种结局不可避免。他在香港粤华酒店说:“中国廉价劳力的时代结束了。”

          Mind you, that doesn't mean that labor costs in China, even in the most expensive parts of the country like Guangdong province, are higher than in most other places, particularly in the developed world. They aren't. The average manufacturing wage in China is still only about $3.10 an hour, (compared with $22.30 in the U.S.), though in the eastern part of the country, it's up to 50% more than that. The hourly cost advantage, while still significant, is shrinking rapidly. For the vast majority of companies, whether small, medium-size or huge multinationals, the decision about where to produce a product is always driven by multiple factors, of which the cost of labor is but one. "For lots of companies over the past two decades, the disparity was such that labor costs often drove the decision," says economist Daniel Rosen, the China director and principal of the Rhodium Group, a a New York City–based consulting firm. "Now, increasingly, that's no longer the case." 请注意;这并不意味着中国广东省劳务费是全国最昂贵的,超过其他大多数地方的,甚至超过了发达国家。虽然这个国家部分地区的劳务费上升超出了常态的50%,但是中国制造业的平均工资仍是大约每小时3.10美元(比较美国的是每小时22.30美元)。虽然计时的成本优势意义重大,但是这种优势正在快速萎缩。对绝大多数公司而言,不论小型,中型或是跨国公司,始终是由多种因素决定生产一种产品,合计劳力只是只是诸因素之一。经济学家丹尼尔-罗森说:“许多经营超过20年的公司有着明显的差别,以致劳工成本经常要依赖决议”,“现在,已逐渐不再发生此类案件”。罗森是纽约一家咨询公司,罗顿集团的委托人兼中国公司的理事。

          The ripple effects of this new reality are enormous, and they flow globally. Start with China itself. The push for higher wages, constrained for so many years, sparked a series of high-profile labor protests last year. (Worker discontent was also reflected by 14 suicides at Foxconn, the large manufacturer that produces goods like the iPad.) But higher wages have also improved things in China's western region, where the government has long tried to encourage investment. In the past year, many multinational and Chinese companies have expanded or relocated inland, where labor is still cheap. 这个新实际波及效应很巨大,还全球性流动。从中国自身开始。去年,努力争取更高的工资,受到许多年的约束,爆出了一连串备受曙目的劳务抗议火花。(在生产苹果平板电脑富士康公司因工人们的不满导致14人自杀。)但是,在中国西部地区更高的工资也改善了形势,在那儿政府长期鼓励投资。过去一年里,许多跨国公司和中国公司已经扩展或者迁移到内地,那里的劳力仍然便宜。

         From China's perspective, that's exactly the sort of trade-off it seeks. As Andy Rothman, chief China macro strategist at CLSA Securities in Shanghai, says, "People in Sichuan or Henan or wherever can stay closer to home and find a good-paying job" instead of having to flood east each year to live in a company dormitory far away from their families. "How is this a bad thing?" 从中国的远景看,正是大家在寻找的权衡之类。正如上海法国里昂证券交易所中国宏观经济首席战略家安迪-罗福曼所说:“四川人,河南人或无论什么地方人都能在家附近找到薪水丰厚的工作”而不是远离家庭整年生活在公司宿舍里。“这不好么?”

            It's not. Ask Wu Dingli, a 24-year-old from Ziyang, a city in Sichuan, who for five years had been working in a small electronics factory in Dongguan, the huge, dreary factory town between Guangzhou and Shenzhen in the southeast. She was laid off in late 2008, when the global financial crisis temporarily crippled Chinese exports to the West. A year later, she found a job on the production line of a company that supplies electric cables to, among other customers, a Hewlett-Packard personal-computer plant in Chongqing. She says she's making "only a bit less" than she did before, "but life is much easier for me here because I'm closer to home. I much prefer this job to the old one." 要不,问吴丁丽;她是四川资阳人,在东莞一家小型电子工厂工作了5年,现年24岁。2008年末,世界金融危机,中国出口到西方的商品暂时受创,此时,她下岗了。一年后,她找到了一家公司生产线上的工作。这家公司为重庆惠普电脑厂和其他几家客户提供电缆。她说她现在所做比过去“少多了”,“对我来说此地的生活更轻松,因为离家更近。我非常愿将这份工作做到老。”

            The changing economics of Made in China will benefit both the rich and poor world. Countries like Cambodia, Laos, India and Vietnam are picking up some of the cheapest labor manufacturing left by the Chinese. And according to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), there is already evidence of at least the beginning of a shift in manufacturing operations returning to the U.S. Last year, Wham-O, the company that makes inexpensive, albeit iconic, toys, announced it was moving 50% of its Frisbee and Hula Hoop production back to the U.S. from China and Mexico, a move that created hundreds of new American jobs. 中国制造的发展经济将使贫穷和富裕的世界都得利。柬埔寨,老挝,印度和越南诸国正在收取中国人留下的最廉价劳动生产。根据波士顿咨询集团(BCG)最近的研究表明;至少已经有迹象显示生产运作开始移回到美国。去年,制作廉价图标,玩具的威猛公司宣布飞盘和呼啦圈生产有50%从中国和墨西哥转移回到美国,一次转移创造了数以百计新的美国职业。

          Toymaking, of course, along with footwear and textiles, was among the first industries to head to China as the cheapest source of reliable production. It's a labor-intensive, relatively low-tech industry — one that most economists assumed would be gone forever once it left. But a look at how the economics have changed over the past decade sheds some light on why companies like Wham-O are deciding to return. According to the BCG study, in 2000, China's average wage rate was 36% of the U.S.'s, adjusted for productivity. By the end of 2010, that gap had shrunk to 48%, and BCG estimates that it will be 69% in 2015. "So while the discussion in the short term favors China," says Hal Sirkin, senior partner at BCG and the author of the recent study, "the spread is getting down to a smaller and smaller number. Increasingly what you're seeing [in corporate boardrooms] is a discussion not necessarily about closing production in China but about 'Where I will locate my next plant?'" 玩具制作当然还包括鞋类和纺织品是第一产业率先形成中国可靠生产的最廉价资源。是那时一种劳动密集型,相对低技术产业——大多数经济学家算计到是一个一去不复返的产业。但是,应着眼于如何改变过去十年的经济,摆脱停滞,这就是为什么许多公司喜欢威猛,决定返回的原因。根据波士顿咨询公司的研究,2000年中国为生产力而调整的平均工资率达到美国的36%。2010年末,差距已缩小到48%。咨询公司估计;到2015年,这种差距将缩小到69%。近期研究创始人,波士顿咨询公司资深合伙人哈尔-瑟金说:“所以就当前来说,讨论惠及中国,”“差价数字显现出愈来愈小。你们在公司董事会议室看到愈来愈多讨论的是不必停止中国生产,但是下一个工厂将建在哪里呢?”

           Perhaps the most important effect of rising wages in China is that they will put more money in people's pockets, which is something that's in the interest of everyone — most emphatically Beijing's major trading partners, who urgently need China to increase its consumption in order to reduce drastic imbalances in global trade. As much as higher wages may cut into the bottom line of exporters like Charles Hubbs and thousands of Chinese-owned companies across a wide range of industries, the process is the inevitable result of China's becoming a wealthier country with a stronger currency. "It's exactly what needs to happen," says Rosen. 可能中国加工资的最重要作用是让人民的口袋装进更多的钱,让每个人都得益——最着重强调的,是北京主要贸易伙伴迫切地需要中国增加消费,为的是减少世界贸易的剧烈动荡。差不多较高的工资可以打破诸如查尔斯-赫伯斯这样的出口商和无数大范围国有公司的底线。中国拥有坚挺的货币,成为更富有的国家是不可避免的结果。罗森说:“那正是需要发生的事。”

           Many multinationals, meanwhile, have long since begun to focus their China manufacturing operations on the vast Chinese market. That HP factory in Chongqing produces its laptops only for the home market. In a survey eight years ago, the American Chamber of Commerce in South China found that 75% of its members were focused mainly on export markets. By last year, that number had flipped: 75% of 1,800 respondents now say their manufacturing operations in China are focused on serving the Chinese market. That's mainly because China's workers are steadily getting richer. For them, and pretty much everyone else concerned, that's the rarest of commodities in a troubled global economy: good news. 许多跨国公司关注广阔中国市场的中国生产经营已很久。重庆惠普工厂只为国内市场生产笔记本电脑。美国商业社团8年前开始调查至今,发现华南75%的社团成员主要关注出口市场。去年,1800名调查对象中75%的人说;现在他们在中国的生产经营关注到中国服务市场。那是因为中国工人稳定地变得更富裕。可喜的是;对他们而言,尽管不安的世界经济,商品稀缺,然而几乎每个人都受到重视。

阅读(264)| 评论(7)



<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->


网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2018