China's Shrinking Workforce Affects Economic Transition, Expert Says
(Beijing) — China's labor force is expected to drop to 906 million workers in 2016, pushing up labor costs and prompting firms to relocate outside the mainland, a leading demographer said.
The country's working-age population between the ages of 16 and 59 has declined for three straight years since 2012, said Zeng Xiangquan, head of the China Institute for Employment Research at Renmin University, at a seminar on Saturday.
This downward trend will continue, with the country's workforce shrinking to about 700 million people by 2050, Li Zhong, spokesperson for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said in July.
Rising labor shortages have pushed up salaries, forcing manufacturers to relocate to Southeast Asia as factories in China are struggling to recruit new workers, Zeng said.
The one-child policy, which led to a drop in birthrates, has led to a decline in the number of young people entering the workforce. But the pool of semi-skilled blue-collar workers, which was once plentiful, is drying up as more young people opt for a college education and prefer to work in the service sectors.
Nearly half the new entrants in the Chinese job market have a college degree, but there is a mismatch between their skills and what the market needs, said Zhang Juwei, director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, at the same seminar on Saturday.
Zhang said China's education system needs to offer better vocational training and teach practical skills to youth.
Although the country is expected to shed 1.8 million workers to trim overcapacity in coal and steel this year, these workers cannot be easily absorbed into the manufacturing sector because they had only nine years of schooling on average, Zeng said.
He said labor shortages could hamper China's transition from a manufacturing economy to a service- and consumption-driven one.
Feb 24 18:02
Feb 24 17:28
Feb 24 14:15
Feb 24 14:04
Feb 24 13:10
Feb 22 03:07
Feb 21 14:54
Feb 20 17:29
Feb 20 15:19
Feb 20 14:58
- 1Another Study Claims Wuhan Seafood Market May Not Be Source of Covid-19 Outbreak
- 2Coronavirus Among Medics More Widespread Than Reported, Research Shows
- 3Coronavirus Friday Update: ‘No Turning Point Yet,’ Politburo Meeting Finds; Cases in Iran ‘Worrisome,’ WHO Says
- 4Coronavirus Tuesday Update: Cabinet Waives Employers’ Welfare Contribution, First Biopsy Study Unveils How Covid-19 Hurts Patients
- 5Coronavirus Sunday Update: Iran Reports 8 Deaths; Chinese Researchers Doubt Wuhan Virus Origin
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas