Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Top headache for China's new leaders: job creation  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 01/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) The factories that have powered China's economic miracle are reeling from the global slowdown, presenting the incoming leadership in Beijing with a restless workforce at a defining moment in the country's growth story.

In the sprawling Foxconn factory in the industrial hub of Shenzen, where 500,000 people churn out electronics for Apple and others, the squeeze from slackening demand in Western markets is preying on hard-pressed workers' minds.

The timing could not be worse for the Communist Party, whose legitimacy stands on its record of lifting hundreds of millions from poverty through rapid-fire job creation and economic development.

For the decade under President Hu Jintao, who will step down after a party congress starting November 8, this objective was largely met as an unprecedented boom propelled China from sixth to second spot in the world economy.

But China's leaders are all too aware of the pressure to keep that up. In his 2010 book "Decision Points", former US president George W. Bush writes that he once told Hu his biggest worry was another terror attack on the United States.

Hu replied that he lost sleep in worrying about the need to create "25 million jobs a year" to sustain China's growth, Bush confides.

Economic growth averaged over 10 percent annually for most of Hu's time in office. This year, however, it is expected to slip to around 7.5 percent, the lowest since 1999.

"We are currently having a lot of difficulties. Factories along the coast are slowly stopping production. So we need to look to the leaders for policy," 30-year-old Foxconn worker Wu Yuanguang told AFP.

Wu, an unmarried production line worker at the giant plant that makes products for global firms including Apple, Sony and Nokia, lives in a crowded dormitory in a nearby high-rise in a seedy industrial district of Shenzhen.

The factory of the Taiwan-based company has frequently hit the headlines: over employees jumping to death from high-rise company accommodation and more recently its admission that under-age interns had been employed.

Labourers at the group's Shenzhen plant are among China's better paid, earning up to 3,000 yuan (480 dollars) per month for working 10-hour shifts, six days a week, workers say.

People like Wu, a migrant worker, are generally seen as the beneficiaries of China's export-led growth that has turned the province around Shenzhen, Guangdong, into the world's factory floor.

In urban areas in China, per capita net income has nearly doubled over the last decade, reaching 21,810 yuan (3,500) last year.

But growing dissatisfaction is setting in as expectations change, pointing to the future challenges for the most likely next president, Xi Jinping, the 59-year-old son of a former revolutionary hero.

"We need better policy for rural areas and migrant workers like us, the policy should take care of us better," said Wu.

"The income gap is wide, the people with money, they are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. It's unfair."

This frustration is leading to a rise in worker unrest, with a protest, work stoppage or strike happening nearly daily in Guangdong province despite independent trade unions being banned, according to the China Labour Bulletin.

"A living wage, decent working environment, proper social security benefits, these are the fundamental concerns of most workers," the Hong Kong-based bulletin's Geoffrey Crothall told AFP.

"There is still a long way to go to achieve that goal for the majority of China. Wages are rising, but from a very low base."

On top of this, a large proportion of the 253 million migrants working in China's cities are "second-class citizens" without local residential permits, meaning they are not entitled to social security or schools for their children.

For the GDP-watching Communist Party leaders, the health of China's vital export markets in Europe and the United States will largely determine whether restless workers can be pacified.

China's economy registered its weakest quarterly growth since early 2009 in the three months to September, but recent signs of recovery have delayed for now the prospect of another stimulus package.

Should a new spending programme be required, the country has plenty of fiscal flexibility backed by its huge foreign reserves, which totalled 3.18 trillion at the end of last year, 10 times their size a decade ago.

The overarching aim of Xi's regime, made aware of China's vulnerability to a foreign slowdown by the current problems, is expected to be reducing the economy's dependency on exports by stimulating domestic demand.

Doing this will require an increase in domestic wages, however, at the risk of hastening the departure of some manufacturing companies that have already begun to look at alternatives bases to increasingly pricey China.

"The outgoing leadership talked a great deal of the need to rebalance the economy away from investment over its decade in power. The need to act is greater now," Capital Economics said in an October report.

Meanwhile, Xi and his likely prime minister Li Keqiang will face increasing public unrest over the environment and anger over the pollution wrought by decades of breakneck development.

Last weekend, authorities in Ningbo city in eastern China called off work on a new chemical plant after thousands of locals clashed with police during a protest over fears the factory would contaminate the region.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Sidra-BMC Event Boosts Biomedical Research Publishing ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - A symposium organised jointly by Sidra Medical Research Centre and BioMed Central (BMC) mulled trends in research and on open access publishing here ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Mannai Corp Q1 Net Profit up 73% to QR 150.1 Million ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Exchange listed Mannai Corporation (QE: MCCS) net profit is up 73% to QR 150.1 Million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ending March 31 ...

Apr 24 2014Bahraini firms forecasted to grow 10 pct ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) In a report based on a study of over 650 companies across GCC, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) forecasts a growth of the Bahraini companies' earnings by 10 percent in 2014, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Army Storms Deir Samit Village West of Hebron ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) bron April 24 - Israeli army forces stormed at dawn Thursday Deir Samit village southwest of Hebron city in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted raid and search ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Airways to add more seats on Doha-Vienna route ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways plans to offer more 1.700 seats on its Doha-Vienna route beginning from September 2014, according to Gulf News. The company aims to expand the growing passenger demand from ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

Apr 24 2014Egyptian Premier Off to Chad ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib left cairo on Thursday for Chad the first leg of a three-day two-state trip that will also take him to Tanzania ...

Apr 24 2014Dubai SME ties up with Taylor Wessing to raise awareness on Intellectual Property and fund-raising among SME100 firms ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Dubai SME, the agency of the Department for Economic Development in Dubai mandated to develop the SME sector, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the international law ...

Apr 24 2014Mannai Corporation net profit soars 73 percent in Q1 ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's Mannai Corporation said that its net profit in the first quarter of this year increased significantly, the Peninsula Qatar reported. The group said that net profit in the period ...

Apr 24 2014Redefining large AOC launches 28€³ MVA monitors ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Display specialist AOC launches its first two 28" (71.1 cm) monitors. The m2870Vhe and m2870Vq feature extra-large 16:9 MVA panels with Full HD resolution, wide viewing angles and high ...

Apr 24 2014Finance House Q1 Net Soars 38% to AED 35.51 Million ,MENAFN Press
(MENAFN Press) Finance House PJSC (FH), has kicked-off 2014 on an upbeat note by registering a consolidated net profit of AED 35.51 million for the first quarter of 2014, which is nearly 38% higher ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 3 Foreigners in Hospital ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kabul April 24 - Three foreigners including a doctor were shot dead and their colleague wounded when a guard of a private Cure Hospital opened fire on them in the ...

Apr 24 2014US Secretary of State Meets Egyptian Intelligence Chief ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) shington April 24 - US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Major General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami who is currently ...

Apr 24 2014Egypt's Interim President Receives Phone Call from South African President ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour has received a telephone call from President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma in which they discussed ...





Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help