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20 million migrant workers may have lost their jobs in China due to global economic crisis.


2009, February 2


According to a survey carried out in 15 provinces of China, some 20 million migrant workers, or roughly 15% of the migrant labor force, may have lost their jobs. Migrant workers from China's rural areas have staffed the booming manufacturing and construction industries in the country's eastern provinces. With the global downturn in consumer spending China's exports have plummeted within a few months. In January 2009 alone, exports dropped 17.5 per cent, as compared with the same month the year before. Rapidly rising unemployment in China's rural areas may lead to social protests and may undermine China's economic and political stability.

Analysis: The larger than expected increase in unemployment in China clearly demonstrates the interdependencies in the global economy. Triggered by a credit crisis in the United States of America, the global economic downturn has rapidly spread to economies all over the globe. The massive impact on China's export-oriented economy is just another example that it is naive to believe that economic development can be initiated on a national basis alone. Today's global trade flows and financial connections are linking together developing and developed economies to a much greater extent than only a few decades ago.


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