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City now a sellers’ market for job hunters

INCREASING demand for workers amid a shrinking labor pool is driving salary offers higher than job seekers’ expectations.

“Offered salaries have been lower than job seekers’ expectations for a very long time,” said Wang Jiawen, a career information analyst at the city’s employment promotion center, which released a study on the jobs market yesterday.

“But we noticed they began to exceed expectations in the fourth quarter last year and the trend has become increasingly very obvious in the past 10 months.”

Average offers were 4,630 yuan (US$700) a month in August, against average expectations of 4,474 yuan, the report said.

The average offers cover from entry-level to more experienced positions.

The shift reflects significant changes in the labor market.

“The recruitment needs have been high, but the working-age population is declining,” Wang said.

Shanghai is expanding and upgrading its industrial infrastructure, fuelling strong growth in demand for skilled workers — and making it harder for employers to find people with the right skills and qualifications.

“Previously, people had to lower their expectations to get a job as soon as possible,” Wang said.

“But now, employers have had to increase their offers to hire the right talent as soon as possible.

“The job market is no longer a buyers’ market. It is a sellers’ market.”

He forecast that trend to continue over the long term, with salary offers continuing to rise.

The report also found the general average pay offered by employers across the total job market was 8.8 percent higher in August than the lame period last year.

But that is still below the average of 9.6 percent growth in recent years.

The finance industry has the best offers ­— 5,436 yuan a month in August, up 5 percent from a year earlier.

Next best were hydraulic engineering, environment and public facility management averaging about 5,252 yuan a month and information, computer services and software, offering about 5,144 yuan a month — which showed the highest growth over last year at 15.6 percent.

Private companies offered the highest wages — 4,733 yuan a month.

Money offered by foreign ventures saw the highest growth, with a 9.2 percent increase to 4,484 yuan.

Men are still offered more than women — 4,825 yuan a month, compared with 4,609.

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