Thursday, February 08, 2007

Chinese New Year Brings Housekeeper Shortage to Beijing Homes

Housekeeping service has become a booming business in large cities like Beijing

As many housekeepers leaving the Beijing homes they serve to visit their hometowns for the traditional holiday, the capital city is again facing a “housekeeper crisis,” like it has been for the past few years.

This year will see an estimated shortage of around 30,000 workers, when many working housekeepers chose visiting home over pay raise for working the holiday, China News Service reported. Women from rural areas outside the capital have formed the main body of housekeepers in the city.

To satisfy the needs, housekeeping service companies are trying to attract Beijing natives who currently are unemployed to join the workforce, as well as importing young college students from other regions to work their winter break internship as housemaids.

It is estimated that over 10 percent of Beijing’s two million households hired housekeepers this year, and there are more than 200,000 people working in the housekeeping business. Housekeepers are usually paid a couple of thousand yuan ($200-$400) a month for full time services.

----by Josie Liu

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