Gloomy Job Outlook: China will have about 250 million surplus workers by the year 2000, according to Beijing’s Economic Daily.
About 200 million of the surplus will come from overpopulated rural areas, which Beijing has recently encouraged to develop their own industry and business enterprises. But last fall, as the leadership clamped down on economic growth, many of these enterprises went bankrupt and workers lost their jobs.
Excess workers are a problem even in urban areas. The urban work force stood last year at 135.7 million, the State Statistical Bureau disclosed recently, and of these 20 million to 30 million are seriously underemployed and hamper productivity.
China’s labor force is growing by roughly 10 million a year, exceeding the number of new jobs, the Economic Daily said, quoting the China Rural Development Research Center. The population of about 1.1 billion is expected to reach almost 1.3 billion by the year 2000.