China Jobless Migrants: 26 Million; U.S. Unemployed Maybe 11 Million

China now has between 20 and 26 unemployed migrants.

The population of China is about 1.3 Billion.  The U.S. population is about 0.3  Billion or 300 Million.

Many workers left their jobs last week to return home for the Lunar New Year or Spring Festival with no plans to return to the factories.

Their jobs are gone.

China fears social unrest with such a large and growing mob of unemployed, and is working a complex package of new job training and stimulus…


China’s economic downturn has now cost the jobs of 20 million of the migrant workers whose labour fuels the country’s vast export industry and a monthly survey has showed employers are cutting staff at the fastest rate since 2004.

But the Communist Party leadership, anxious about social unrest and determined to maintain the higher living standards people have become used to in the last decade, revealed it has pumped up public spending to restart the economy and early indicators showed the decline may be slowing.

Premier Wen Jiabao, on an official visit to London, said the world’s third-largest economy was stabilising after a sharp slowdown in the second half of 2008. He told the Financial Times in an interview: “During the last 10 days of December it started to get better.”

Chen Xiwen, a top adviser to the Party on policies for China’s 750-million-strong farming population, said official surveys found about 15.3 percent of the total migrant labour pool working in cities – some 20 million people — had returned jobless to the countryside. That compared with earlier figures that said 10 million lost their jobs last year.

Read the rest:

From The Wall Street Journal:


From AP

An estimated 26 million desperately poor rural Chinese are jobless after pinning their hopes on factory jobs that dried up due to the global economic slowdown, an official said Monday, noting that widespread unemployment could threaten the country’s social stability.

The figures were announced one day after Beijing warned of “possibly the toughest year” since the turn of the century, calling for development of agriculture and rural areas to offset the economic fallout. Though many Chinese cities have seen double-digit growth in recent years, the countryside has lagged far behind, forcing peasants to seek urban factory jobs churning out goods that are sold around the world.

But a recent government survey showed that slightly more than 15 percent of China‘s estimated 130 million migrant workers have returned to their hometowns and are now unemployed, said Chen Xiwen, director of the Central Rural Work Leading Group, a central government advisory body. Another 5 or 6 million new migrants enter the work force each year, he added.

“So, if we put those figures together, we have roughly 25 to 26 million rural migrant workers who are now coming under pressures for employment,” he said. “So from that perspective, ensuring job creation and maintenance is ensuring the stability of the countryside.”

In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a 16-year high of 7.2 percent in December, meaning about 11.1 million Americans are without jobs, or less than half the number of unemployed migrants in China.

Related from CNN:


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