China’s Frontline Workers are Quitting

China’s Frontline Workers are Quitting
May 16, 2016 Translated by

Editor's Note: While executives are deliberating and managers are delegating, front line workers are, well, working. This expendable, but critical group of workers are in the field, directly making products or dealing with customers, and in China they are quitting. Some economists say this does not have to be a bad thing. If they are quitting, we can assume it is because they have found another job opportunity and a surplus of job opportunities indicates a strong economy. This translated article reports on new data on frontline workers in China.

Workers in China’s second-tier cities earn an average annual salary of more than 50,000 RMB. Frontline workers at manufacturing enterprises earn an average of 56,856 RMB per year, while those at non-manufacturing companies earn 54,583 RMB. Frontline employees are the workers who have direct contact with customers—they answer phones, work behind the counter, and walk the floor.

These numbers are from a recent report released by Zhongzhi Renli Capital Research and Data Service Center. The May 11 “2016 Frontline Employees Management Research Report,” reported that the turnover rate for frontline staff in all enterprises is 26%. In manufacturing companies however, the turnover rate is 32%.

310 Companies Surveyed 
310 national companies were interviewed for the report. The companies included state-owned enterprises, private enterprises, and foreign-funded enterprises. The manufacturing companies in the report were involved in a number of industries including electronics, heavy machinery, chemicals, and consumer products. Other companies included those in shipping and logistics, hotels, and catering.

While Chinese in their thirties make up most of the nation’s frontline staff, those in their twenties are slowly entering the workforce population. In manufacturing companies, theew are many openings for inspectors, operators, maintenance workers and workers in the personnel department. In non-manufacturing companies, there are many openings for cart drivers, customer service and sales representatives.

How Much do Frontline Workers Earn?
In 2015, high-tech blue collar workers earned 71,065 RMB per year, 25% more than an average frontline worker. Frontline service personnel in non-manufacturing enterprises earn even less, with an average salary of 54,583 RMB.

In 2016, 82% of non-manufacturing companies and 79% of manufacturing companies will increase salaries for frontlines workers. 74% of companies said that salaries will increase for blue-collar high-tech workers. High-tech blue collar workers generally get the highest salary increases—about 8.4%. This is 0.5% higher than the average frontline staffer.

In manufacturing enterprises, frontline workers generally work 5-10 hours of overtime per week. 12% work more than 20 hours of overtime per week. Frontline employees at manufacturing enterprises generally earn more than 10,000 Yuan in overtime every year, which accounts for about 18% of their annual income. Frontline workers at non-manufacturing enterprises work relatively few overtime hours.

Gone So Soon?
In 2015, the turnover rate for frontline workers was 26% and 32% at manufacturing enterprises. In first-tier cities, the turnover rate for frontline workers was 21%. In second-tier cities there was a voluntary turnover rate of 30%. Electronics manufacturing enterprises have the highest turnover rate at 50%. For blue collar workers, the highest turnover rate is at pharmaceutical manufacturing companies at 45%.

Frontline workers often do not return to their jobs after the Spring Festival. In March 2016, 86% of frontline workers returned to their jobs. 78% of personnel staff at non-manufacturing enterprises return to their jobs, the lowest rate of all frontline positions. 61% of non-manufacturing companies have constant problems where staff members leave after working for less than a year. To combat this, many companies give out holiday and incentive bonuses when workers return from Spring Festival.

Source: QQ News

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Keywords: China frontline workers China jobs quitting


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I know many that would just love to work for under 5,000 RMB a month, with lengthy work weeks, marginal to non existent time off (be it holiday or personal), marginal to no other benefits, etc. Sign me up !!!!

May 16, 2016 15:52 Report Abuse



Shame they can't create a union to protect them and force employers to treat them fairly and within the law. That would be asking too much in a country that discriminates against the proletariat.

May 16, 2016 08:16 Report Abuse



The "People's" part of the country's name must be defined as "Employers'"

May 16, 2016 09:00 Report Abuse



They could make it the "Rich people's republic"

May 16, 2016 18:08 Report Abuse



By having Unions, the government will lose some of its power. Wish there was union as well

Aug 02, 2016 13:53 Report Abuse



what's the PO'd customer rate?

May 16, 2016 05:17 Report Abuse



what's the employee bendover rate?

May 16, 2016 05:16 Report Abuse