This article in the Far Eastern Economic Review provides a good overview of the rising ranks of the unemployed and desperate in China. The unemployed are becoming a threat to political stability.
In the early days of dismissals, it was relatively easy to find new jobs. No longer. The Development Research Centre, which is linked to the State Council, China's cabinet, puts urban unemployment at 10% and warns it could rise to 15% in the next few years. The DRC and Asian Development Bank estimate there are 37 million urban poor--12% of the urban population. World Trade Organization membership and growing competition have brought new pressures. The employment situation is "very grim," admitted Minister Zhang in an address to lawmakers, adding that with population growth the number of new entrants to the workforce in China will hit a peak sometime between now and 2005.
The result could be more frequent strikes and increasing social disorder. Workers with grievances--late wages, pension payments or redundancy--are no longer just getting mad; they are organizing.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 October 31 05:28 PM Socialism, Capitalism|