||Last Updated: Mar 27, 2009 - 5:03:44 AM
Chinese Migrant Workers Totaled 225.42 Million at the End of 2008
PRC National Bureau of Statistics March 25, 2009
In order to get base numbers on the numbers of peasant workers leaving and returning to their homes in the countryside, the PRC National Bureau of Statistics took advantage of the return of peasant workers to their home areas for the Spring Festival holiday to conduct large sampling survey of 68,000 rural households in 31 provinces, 857 counties, and 7100 villages. The most important survey results were:
I. The Total Numbers and Structure of the Peasant Workforce According to the PRC National Bureau of Statistics Peasant Worker Statistical Monitoring Survey, as
of December 31, 2008, there were 225.42 million peasant workers in China. Of these, 140.41 million or 62.3% of the total, were employed outside of their own rural or urban township. Employed inside their own rural or urban township were 85.01 million workers, or 37.7% of the total. Among the 140.41 million peasant workers employed outside their home township, 37.6% came from central China, 32.7% from western China and 29.7% from eastern China. Eastern China employed 71% of all the peasant workers employed outside their own township, with central China employing 13.2% and eastern China 15.4%. Among the 85.01 million peasant workers who work in their own township, 62.1% live in eastern China, 22.8% in central China and 15.1% in western China.
II. The Number of Peasant Workers Returning to their Home Townships
Before the Spring Festival and their Employment After the Spring Festival. As of just before Spring Festival, about 70 million peasant workers returned to their home townships, or about have of the 14.41 million peasant workers who are employed outside their home townships. After the Spring Festival, among the 70 million peasant workers who had returned home, about 80% had already left to work in the city; of those who had gone to the city, 45 million had already found work and 11 million were looking for work. About 20% of them found work in their home township, created a business for themselves or were looking for work in their home township.
III. Characteristics of Peasant Workers Who Returned to Their Home Townships
1. Most returned in the fourth quarter of 2008. During 2008, the proportion of peasant workers who returned to their home townships was
first quarter: 1.44%, second quarter 8.46%, third quarter 19.44%, and fourth quarter 70.65%. During the fourth quarter, the proportion who returned each month were 18.2% in October, 27.3% in November and 25.1% in December.
2. More returned from eastern China than from any other area. The proportion returned from each region of China were: 62.4% from east China, 16.1% from central China and 21.3% from western China. Returning peasant workers who had been working in Guangdong Province accounted for 24.6% of the total. Returning peasant workers from the Yangtze River Delta accounted for 17.2% of the total.
3. The manufacturing and construction sectors were more seriously affected by the financial crisis. If we divide up the peasant migrants by the sector in which they work, the two sectors which provide the most jobs to peasant workers are manufacturing and construction, accounting for 36.1% and 28.2% respectively of the peasant workers working outside who had returned to their home areas. Peasant workers who had returned to their home areas accounted for 46.2% and 73.3% of peasant workers in the manufacturing or construction sectors. This is higher than the national average.
4. The peasant workers who had returned home were relatively poorly educated. Among the peasant workers who had returned to their home townships, the proportions of those who were illiterate or only knew a few characters was 2.4%, elementary school education 14.8%, middle school 65.8%, high school 11.1%, and vocational school 4% and higher education 2%. Peasant workers with a middle school or lower education accounted for 82.9% of the total. This shows that it has become easier for relatively uneducated peasant workers to find jobs outside their home townships. Improving the education of peasant workers will make it easier for them to hold a job.
IV. The issues of unpaid wages and farming among peasant workers who have returned to their township
1. Among the peasant workers who had returned to their home
townships, 5.8% of the peasant workers were owed back wages. Among
the workers who had kept their jobs and were just returning home
for Spring Festival, 4.4% were owed back wages by their employer.
Among the workers who had returned home and need to find a new
job, 8% of them were owed back wages. Of those peasant workers who
had returned home because they were affected by the financial
crisis, 13% of those who returned home after their company closed
were owed back wages. Of those who returned home after their
company laid off some workers, 5.7% were owed back wages.
2. Peasant workers who returned to their home township but didn't
have agricultural land were 2.2% of the total. Of those 23
million peasant workers who needed to look for a new job, 6%
didn't have any agricultural land. The great majority of peasant
workers who returned home had lead to till. Of those peasant
workers who didn't have land to till, 39.3% of them had not been
allocated agricultural land; another 15% had already transferred
their land contract; 15.7% were having their land tilled by
relatives or friends; and for another 14.7% the land was being
managed by the village collectivity; 5.7% had had their land
expropriated; and 22% for miscellaneous reasons. Of those peasant
workers who didn't have any land to till, only 5.4% planned to get
their land back and till it. Peasants who plan to get their land
back and till it themselves accounted for just 0.3% of the peasant
workers who have returned to their township and need to find a new
Full Chinese report at: http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjfx/fxbg/t20090325_402547406.htm
N.B. This report from the PRC National Bureau of Statistics refers to
the regions of eastern, central and western China. Here are the
definitions of those regions according to p. 281 of "Principles of
Regional Economics" published by People's University.
Eastern China: Liaoning, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shandong, Jiangsu,
Zhejiang, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan (12)
Central China: Heilongjiang, Jilin, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui and Hunan (9)
Western China: Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region,
Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan, Guizhou
and Tibet Autonomous Region. (10)
© Copyright 2009 by Boxun News
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