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China's Labor Market Performance and Challenges

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  • Tao Ran
  • Ray Brooks
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    Abstract

    A more market-oriented labor market has emerged in China in the past twenty years with growing importance of the urban private sector, as state-owned enterprises have downsized. Despite the progress on reforms, a sizable surplus of labor still exists in the rural sector and state-owned enterprises. The main challenge facing China’s labor market in coming years is to absorb the surplus labor into quality jobs while adjusting to World Trade Organization (WTO) accession. This paper estimates that if annual GDP growth averages 7 percent and the employment elasticity is one-half, urban unemployment could double to about 10 percent over the next three to four years. These pressures would be limited by stronger economic growth, especially in the private sector and more labor-intensive service industries which have generated the most jobs in recent years. Therefore, policy should focus on encouraging private sector development while reducing barriers to labor mobility, improving worker skills, upgrading job search services, and strengthening the social safety net.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 03/210.

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    Length: 25
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:03/210

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    Related research

    Keywords: Employment; Unemployment; Labor markets; labor force; labor market; jobs; unemployed; unemployment rate; urban unemployment; job growth; job search; labor productivity; labor force survey; employment data; urban employment; reemployment; new jobs; job creation; labor law; job losses; labor force participation; rural employment; underemployment; unemployment rates; labor market reforms; re-employment; urban labor force; hidden unemployment; total labor force; labor mobility; registered unemployment; rural unemployment; reemployment centers; total employment; unemployment benefits; labor market flexibility; labor supply; labor force growth; employment growth; aggregate employment; retraining; labor force participation rate; unemployment insurance; industrial employment; employment projections; new job; re-employment centers; employment centers; urban job; farm employment; labor market distortions; labor bureaus; employment generation; employment prospects; labor organization; flexible labor market; private employment; labor unions; job opportunities; economically active population; reemployment program; employment services; job-seekers; labor standards; aged workers; training services; job creation schemes; labor market reform; unemployment projection; unemployed workers; job search assistance; job seekers; employment injury; unemployment insurance fund; unemployed persons; employment agencies; job searches; labor market performance; private employment agencies; number of employees; unemployment benefit; local labor; productive employment; labor market strategy; labor union; labor market issues; unemployment pressures;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Li Shantong & Zhai Fan, 2002. "China's WTO Accession and Implications for its Regional Economies," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 92, pages 67-102.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Lipschitz, Leslie & Rochon, Céline & Verdier, Geneviève, 2011. "A real model of transitional growth and competitiveness in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 267-283, August.
    2. Eduardo Lora, 2005. "¿Debe América Latina temerle a la China?," Research Department Publications 4420, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    3. Eduardo Lora, 2005. "Should Latin America Fear China?," Research Department Publications 4409, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    4. Leslie Lipschitz & Geneviève Verdier & Céline Rochon, 2008. "A Real Model of Transitional Growth and Competitiveness in China," IMF Working Papers 08/99, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Abrigo, Michael Ralph M. & Desierto,Desiree A., 2011. "Contagious Migration: Evidence from the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 2011-18, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    6. Nauro Campos & Jeffrey Nugent, 2012. "The Dynamics of the Regulation of Labor in Developing and Developed Countries since 1960," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1037, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Morris Goldstein, 2004. "Adjusting China's Exchange Rate Policies," Working Paper Series WP04-1, Peterson Institute for International Economics.

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