China Fears Restive Migrants As Jobs Disappear in Cities

By Shai Oster, via the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Fan is among hundreds of thousands of China’s 130 million — known as the “floating population” — being cast out of urban jobs in factories and at construction sites.

China’s roaring industrial economy has been abruptly quieted by the effects of the . Rural that supplied much of China’s factory manpower are watching the beginnings of a wave of reverse migration that has the potential to shake the of the world’s most populous nation.

Fast-rising unemployment has led to an unusual series of strikes and . Normally cautious have offered quick concessions and talk openly of their worries about social . Laid-off factory workers in Dongguan overturned patrol cars and clashed with last Tuesday, and hundreds of parked in front of a government office in nearby Chaozhou over the weekend, one of a series of driver protests.

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