China’s Workers Return to Cities

BBC reports on migrant workers who headed home during the economic downturn but are now returning to the cities in search of work:

Chu Ching-Hu is one of an estimated 20 million migrants who gave up on life in the city earlier this year when China was battered by economic storms from the West.

He had been working as a waiter in a city hotel in the south, but the 30-year-old had to return to his home village in central China.

Now, as the world economy picks up and China’s economic growth touches 8%, Chu Ching-Hu is heading to Guangdong province to work in a pottery factory.

[…] The government in Beijing says 95% of the migrants who made the long journey back to the countryside are now back in the cities, either working or looking for work.

It has been estimated by Western academics that about 10 million of them cannot find jobs.

But a recent study has suggested that even those who are lucky enough to get a job are being employed for fewer hours and are being paid less.

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