It’s really hard to imagine China producing the millions of jobs it needs to each year without blistering manufacturing growth. And the latest numbers show things are not just slowing, but shrinking. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing purchasing managers index — sounds like our own PMI — came in at 44.6, down from 51.2 in September. Like ours, below 50 is contracting.
If numbers aren’t your bag, check out this gulp-inducing account from the LA Times about plant owners just walking away from their plants. Seriously, it’s like jinglemail for factories
Yang Shenggang, 33, had been at a Shenzhen shoe factory for seven years, working his way up from the assembly line, making $50 a month, to become a supervisor earning six times that amount. This spring, he said, the Hong Kong owner fell behind in paying wages.
One morning in September, the plant abruptly closed.
“The boss was just gone,” Yang said. “I have to get my five months’ salary back. My family needs money to eat and live.”
The process of actually shuttering a factory isn’t cheap. We’re guessing that Chinese workers aren’t entitled to the same kind of severance and benefits as their US counterparts, but even still — for some owners, it probably makes sense to just walk away and let others sort out the mess, rather than stick around and deal with things directly.
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