Archive for the ‘jobless’ Category

Japan To Jobless Immigrants: Just Go Home; Global “Reverse Migration”

January 23, 2009

As the global economy continues to worsen , and more people are unemployed, a kind of reverse migration has started.

Chinse migrants that have traveled for decades to far away jobs are leaving places where jobs no longer exists and heading into the countryised where they were born.

“This is no longer home.  This was my parents home was.  But there is no job for me anywhere else.  So I come back home,” said Qang Le.

In Japan, immigrats not born in Japan are being told to “just go home” when they lose their jobs.

Hundreds of millions of people are now starting a kind a new migration, some experts say.

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From UPI:

Some immigrants in Japan say they are leaving for their homelands because of the impact the economic crisis has had on the Asian country.

 

Brazilian national Paulino Onuma said his family of four is relocating from Japan to Brazil after he and his wife lost their jobs, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) said Friday.

“We have no desire to go home,” Onuma, 29, said. “We are only going back because of the situation.”

“The feeling of the city is that if foreigners have lost their jobs, then they should leave the country,” fellow Brazilian immigrant Kooji Horinouti said of the situation in the Japanese city of Ueda.

The Japanese government has actually begun implementing programs designed to help jobless immigrants remain in Japan despite the economic downturn, the Post reported.

Japan Immigration Policy Institute director Hidenori Sakanaka told the newspaper that marks a drastic change in standard policy.

“Japan has a long history of rejecting foreign residents who try to settle here,” he said. “Normally, the response of the government would have been to encourage these jobless people to just go home.”

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Jobless rate jumps to 7.2 percent in December

January 9, 2009

The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest level in 16 years, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs. The labor market is expected to remain weak as mass layoffs continue.

The Labor Department’s report, released Friday, underscored the terrible toll the deepening recession is having on workers and companies, and highlights the hard task President-elect Barack Obama faces in resuscitating the flat-lined economy.

By JEANNINE AVERSA, AP Economics Writer

People stand in line as they wait to talk with potential employers ... 
People stand in line as they wait to talk with potential employers during a job fair at Rutgers University Wednesday Jan. 7, 2009, in New Brunswick, N.J. The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 7.2 percent in December, the highest since early 1993, as nervous employers slashed 524,000 jobs.(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

For all of 2008, the economy lost a net total of 2.6 million jobs. That was the most since 1945, when nearly 2.8 million jobs were lost. Although the number of jobs in the U.S. has more than tripled since then, losses of this magnitude are still being painfully felt.

With employers throttling back hiring, the nation’s jobless rate averaged 5.8 percent last year. That was up sharply from 4.6 percent in 2007 and was the highest since 2003.

Although economists were forecasting even more payroll reductions in December — around 550,000 — job losses in both October and November turned out to be deeper than previously estimated. Revised figures showed that the employers slashed 584,000 positions in November and another 423,000 in October.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090109/ap_on_bi_g
o_ec_fi/financial_meltdown

China’s jobless migrants go home early for holiday

January 8, 2009

Some hefted their luggage on bamboo shoulder poles. Others carried their things in plastic buckets. All were migrant workers hurrying to get home Thursday before China‘s Lunar New Year festival — a holiday that triggers one of the world’s biggest annual migrations of humans.

Although the celebration is more than two weeks away, the travelers had to get an early start in a country where 188 million people — more than the population of Russia — were expected to squeeze onto trains during the hectic season.

Many workers were forced to go home even earlier this year because their factories went belly up or their assembly lines were idle amid the global economic crisis.

By WILLIAM FOREMAN, Associated Press Writer

A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern ... 
A migrant worker nears the train station in Guangzhou, southern China’s Guangdong province, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009. Some 188 million Chinese are expected to squeeze onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year.(AP Photo/William Foreman)

“Last year, I went back home five or six days before the holiday started. This year, I’m going back about 20 days earlier,” said migrant Huang Mingren as he waited for his train.

For Huang and many others, the trip begins at the crowded station in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, often called the world’s factory floor because it’s China’s key manufacturing base. This is where a huge number of China’s 160 million migrant workers churn out Nike shoes, iPods and Nokia mobile phones.

“Lots of factories have been closing. The toy factory I was working at is about to go under, so the boss just told us to leave early,” added Huang, a wiry 32-year-old native of central Hunan province.

Many migrants also hit the road early because they were worried about the weather. Last year, ice storms paralyzed the transport system in southern China during the peak holiday season, forcing millions to delay or cancel their plans. About 200,000 were stranded at Guangzhou’s station and spent nights outside in a freezing drizzle.

Related:
Economic Slowdown Already Sees 600,000 Chinese Migrants Relocate

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090108/ap_on_re_as/as_chi
na_migrant_woes;_ylt=Ai0bY_Ld8gGAM1VlAjbKjZJvaA8F

China fears recession riots

January 7, 2009

A stark warning by state media Wednesday of possible mass unrest in China signalled deepening fears over the global recession, as Europe grappled with more job losses and an energy cutoff during a winter freeze.

The economy of Asian powerhouse China might become so bad in the next few months that the fabric of the world’s most populous nation could start unraveling, the authoritative weekly Outlook, published by the Xinhua news agency, warned in its latest edition.

By Beth O’Connell, AFP

The magazine said that “enterprise closedowns, layoffs and labour disputes have significantly increased” and with workers’ livelihoods threatened, “their pent-up discontent could easily burst out… and spark mass conflicts.”

European workers are also feeling the brunt of the global recession with official data showing that the number of people out of work in Germany rose by 114,000 in December to 3.1 million.

On Britain’s high street, iconic retailer Marks & Spencer said it would slash up to 1,230 jobs and close 27 stores as consumer spending, the driver of the British economy, shrinks.

Analysts expect the Bank of England to intervene in this recessionary climate Thursday and cut its key interest rate to the lowest ever level.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090107/bs_afp
/financeeconomyworld_newsmlmmd

China seen facing wave of unrest in 2009

January 6, 2009

China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.

The unusually stark report in this week’s Outlook (Liaowang) Magazine, issued by the official Xinhua news agency, said faltering growth could spark anger among millions of migrant workers and university graduates left jobless.

By Chris Buckley
Reuters

A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at ... 
A migrant worker carries his belongings to board a train at a railway station in Taiyuan, Shanxi, January 4, 2009. China faces surging protests and riots in 2009 as rising unemployment stokes discontent, a state-run magazine said in a blunt warning of the hazards to Communist Party control from a sharp economic downturn.REUTERS/Stringer

“Without doubt, now we’re entering a peak period for mass incidents,” a senior Xinhua reporter, Huang Huo, told the magazine, using the official euphemism for riots and protests.

“In 2009, Chinese society may face even more conflicts and clashes that will test even more the governing abilities of all levels of the Party and government.”

President Hu Jintao has vowed to make China a “harmonious society,” but his promise is being tested by rising tension over shrinking jobs and incomes, as well as long-standing anger over corruption and land seizures.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090106/
wl_nm/us_china_unrest_6

Economic Freeze In China and India Can Change Governments, Insiders Worry

December 27, 2008

Asia’s two big beasts are shivering. India’s economy is weaker, but China’s leaders have more to fear…

India pays an economic price for its democracy. Decision-making is cumbersome. And as in China, unrest and even insurgency are widespread.

The Economists (UK)
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THE speed with which clouds of economic gloom and even despair have gathered over the global economy has been startling everywhere. But the change has been especially sudden in the world’s two most populous countries: China and India. Until quite recently, the world’s fastest-growing big economies both felt themselves largely immune from the contagion afflicting the rich world. Optimists even hoped that these huge emerging markets might provide the engines that could pull the world out of recession. Now some fear the reverse: that the global downturn is going to drag China and India down with it, bringing massive unemployment to two countries that are, for all their success, still poor—India is home to some two-fifths of the world’s malnourished children.

The pessimism may be overdone. These are still the most dynamic parts of the world economy. But both countries face daunting economic and political difficulties. In India’s case, its newly positive self-image has suffered a double blow: from the economic buffeting, and from the bullets of the terrorists who attacked Mumbai last month. As our special report makes clear, India’s recent self-confidence had two roots. One was a sustained spurt in economic growth to a five-year annual average of 8.8%. The other was the concomitant rise in India’s global stature and influence. No longer, its politicians gloated, was India “hyphenated” with Pakistan as one half of a potential nuclear maelstrom. Rather it had become part of “Chindia”—a fast-growing success story.
The Mumbai attacks, blamed on terrorist groups based in Pakistan and bringing calls for punitive military action, have revived fears of regional conflict. A hyphen has reappeared over India’s western border, just as the scale of the economic setback hitting India is becoming apparent. Exports in October fell by 12% compared with the same month last year; hundreds of small textile firms have gone out of business; even some of the stars of Indian manufacturing of recent years, in the automotive industry, have suspended production. The central bank has revised its estimate of economic growth this year downwards, to 7.5-8%, which is still optimistic. Next year the rate may well fall to 5.5% or less, the lowest since 2002.

Still faster after all these years

If China’s growth rate were to fall to that level, it would be regarded as a disaster at home and abroad. The country is this month celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event seen as marking the launch of its policies of “reform and opening”, since when its economy has grown at an annual average of 9.8%. The event was a meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee at which Deng Xiaoping gained control. Tentatively at first but with greater radicalism in the 1990s, the party dismantled most of the monolithic Maoist edifice—parcelling out collective farmland, sucking in vast amounts of foreign investment and allowing private enterprise to thrive. The anniversary may be a bogus milestone, but it is easy to understand why the party should want to trumpet the achievements of the past 30 years (see article). They have witnessed the most astonishing economic transformation in human history. In a country that is home to one-fifth of humanity some 200m people have been lifted out of poverty.

Yet in China, too, the present downturn is jangling nerves. The country is a statistical haze, but the trade figures for last month—with exports 2% lower than in November 2007 and imports 18% down—were shocking. Power generation, generally a reliable number, fell by 7%. Even though the World Bank and other forecasters still expect China’s GDP to grow by 7.5% in 2009, that is below the 8% level regarded, almost superstitiously, as essential if huge social dislocation is to be avoided. Just this month a senior party researcher gave warning of what he called, in party-speak, “a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil”. Indeed, demonstrations and protests, always common in China, are proliferating, as laid-off factory-workers join dispossessed farmers, environmental campaigners and victims of police harassment in taking to the streets.

Read the rest:
http://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=6899464&story_id=12773135&source=most_commented

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

China’s Toymakers: No Joy This Holiday

December 25, 2008

Claims of lead-based paint and a disaster in world-wide economic conditions has slammed Santa’s Toyland: China.

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In Dongguan, where many of Santa’s gifts are really made, nearly half of the 3,800 toy factories have closed or plan to. That’s left a vast number of workers, mostly migrants, without jobs.
By Barbara Demick
The Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2008
Reporting from Dongguan, China — Growing up in the Chinese countryside with only an elementary school education, Yang Yanjun had never heard of Christmas until she landed a job painting pink-cheeked cherubs to decorate trees.

But Christmas proved to be a miraculous holiday that would utterly transform her life. Over a decade, she worked in factories producing ornaments and toys that foreign children were told came from Santa’s workshops. She earned up to $200 a month, unimaginable riches that allowed her to build a house for her family back home.

Keeping the spirit alive 
Jobless Chinese toymakers turned vendors.  Photo by  Barbara Demick, The Los Angeles Times
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Related:
China Faces Social Unrest As Up To 150 Million Migrants Go Home Without Work

China’s Slowing Growth, Unemployment Leads Toward Social Unrest

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/
world/la-fg-china-toys25-2008dec25,0,4105911.story

Economy Shrinking: Expects More Gloomy Retail, Inventory Data

December 12, 2008

The government is expected to provide fresh evidence Friday that retailers are taking a hit as consumers continue to pull back amid what appears to be a deepening recession.

By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

Wall Street economists expect retail sales in November fell 1.9 percent, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

That would be an improvement over October’s record 2.8 percent drop, but still the fifth straight monthly decline reported by the Commerce Department.

The report comes a day after the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to the highest level in 26 years, though the work force has grown by about half over that time.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081212/ap_on_bi_ge/financial_m
eltdown;_ylt=AvwGdvV5Q365QBdEoTuZhHSs0NUE

China ‘faces mass social unrest’

December 5, 2008

Rising unemployment and the economic slowdown could cause massive social turmoil in China, a leading scholar in the Communist Party has said.

About 500 protesters rioted at a toy factory in southern China on 25 November 2008

Chinese authorities have already had to deal with workers’ protests

“The redistribution of wealth through theft and robbery could dramatically increase and menaces to social stability will grow,” Zhou Tianyong, a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing, wrote in the China Economic Times.

“This is extremely likely to create a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil,” he wrote.

BBC

His views do not reflect leadership policy but highlight worries in elite circles about the impact of the economic slowdown.

Mr Zhou warned that the real rate of urban joblessness reached 12% this year and could reach 14% next year as the economy slows.

China’s annual GDP growth has already slowed to 9% in the third quarter, from 10.1% in the second. Some forecasters see growth slowing to 7.5% next year.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7766921.stm