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THE YOUNG AND THE OLD

The Wall Street Journal: THE YOUNG AND THE OLD

23 June 04

THE YOUNG AND THE OLD: This year, executives at Shell’s Beijing branch waded through more than 6,000 resumes, interviewed several hundred finalists and will eventually hire nine college graduates from the class of 2004, The Wall Street Journal’s Leslie Chang reports.

Though China’s economy is growing at nearly 10% a year, many of the country’s 2.8 million graduates say they can’t find a job worthy of the money and time they put into their education and training. What’s more, rapidly expanding companies are forced to take sometimes extreme measures to find qualified bodies to fill new positions. “The paradox highlights one of the growing pains of China’s economy: a mismatch between the expectations of college graduates in an immature labor market and the demands of fast-growing companies.”

Meanwhile, Dow Jones Newswires’ James T. Areddy writes, “China is attracting people who would be thinking about retirement if they were back home in the U.S. or Europe, but who are in hot demand in a nation long on laborers but short on foremen.” Old-timers are better suited for the jobs since their younger counterparts aren’t as familiar with the lower-tech manufacturing methods that still power much Chinese industry.

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