China’s Migrant Unemployment Sparks New Effort

China will step up efforts to boost employment for migrant workers as an economic slowdown forces companies to slash jobs, adding to risks of social unrest.

The government will “actively support” smaller companies and those in labor-intensive or service industries, creating more openings for farmers seeking jobs in cities, China’s State Council, or cabinet, said yesterday on its Web site.

Police stand guard, top,  as workers gather at the gate of Jianrong ... 
Police stand guard, top, as workers gather at the gate of Jianrong Suitcase Factory in Dongguan, Southern city in China, Friday, Dec.19, 2008. Workers at a suitcase factory in southern China are in a standoff with police over a wage dispute, one of a series of protests in southern China, where thousands of companies have gone bust this year. More than 30 police, some with riot helmets and shields, are guarding the front of the factory Friday in the southern city of Dongguan.(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Bloomberg

The council urged companies to refrain from cutting jobs as the global recession curbs demand for Chinese products, prompting overseas sales to contract for the first time in seven years, according to the statement.

Major projects in agriculture, transportation, energy and post-earthquake reconstruction should recruit more migrant workers who lost jobs, the council said. The government will also ensure that workers’ salaries are paid in full and on time.

More than 10 million migrant workers are estimated to have lost their jobs as of the end of November,  Caijing Magazine reported on its Web site on Dec. 17, citing a Labor Ministry official it didn’t identify.

Related:
China Faces Social Unrest As Up To 150 Million Migrants Go Home Without Work

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