China’s work­force may de­cline 23pc

The Myanmar Times - - Business -

THE size of China’s work­force may de­cline by as much as 23 per­cent by 2050, a gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said, as the pop­u­la­tion of the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy rapidly ages.

Li Zhong, spokesper­son for the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity, told a re­cent news con­fer­ence that China’s work­ing age pop­u­la­tion – de­fined as those be­tween the ages of 16 and 59 – peaked in 2011 and would soon “ex­pe­ri­ence a process of sharp de­cline”, par­tic­u­larly af­ter 2030.

He fore­cast that last year’s tally of 911 mil­lion peo­ple of work­ing age peo­ple could fall as low as 700 mil­lion by 2050 – a de­cline of over 23pc.

“Over the long term, macrolevel data anal­y­sis shows that we must fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of hu­man re­sources as a whole, and study how to more fully and more ef­fi­ciently make use of labour re­sources,” he said on July 22.

China is faced with deep de­mo­graphic chal­lenges, thanks in large part to decades of the strict and at times bru­tal en­force­ment of its hugely con­tro­ver­sial “one child” pol­icy. The coun­try now has 220 mil­lion peo­ple over the age of 60, Mr Li said, ac­count­ing for over 16pc of its to­tal pop­u­la­tion.

China’s econ­omy grew by 6.9pc last year, its slow­est rate in a quar­ter-cen­tury, and its shrink­ing work­force has height­ened the chal­lenges brought on by slug­gish eco­nomic growth.

The coun­try has drafted plans cur­rently pend­ing ap­proval to delay re­tire­ment age, with Mr Li stat­ing that the de­ci­sion would have “lim­ited” im­pact on em­ploy­ment for younger peo­ple.

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