The Wall Street JournalThe Wall Street Journal

The era of ultracheap stuff is under threat

By Jon Emont

07 Aug 2023 · 7 min read

informed Summary

  1. Young people in Asia are increasingly reluctant to work in factories, leading to a labor shortage that is driving up costs for Western companies that rely on the region's inexpensive labor. This is posing a significant challenge to the globalized manufacturing model, which has delivered cheaply produced goods to consumers worldwide for the past three decades.

The workplace features floor-to-ceiling windows and a cafe serving matcha tea, as well as free yoga and dance classes. Every month, workers gather at team-building sessions to drink beer, drive go-karts and go bowling.

This isn’t Google. It’s a garment factory in Vietnam.

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