ZHANG:
Moving onto China where a slowing global economy is causing growing unemployment among the country’s migrant workers. Post Olympic jobs are fewer and the pay is less. And the vast majority of rural migrants have no coverage under a flawed social security system.

STORY:
The global economic slowdown is taking its toll on China and threatens to significantly up the country’s unemployed.

Rural migrant workers are especially hard hit.

[Zhang Zhiyang, Construction Worker]:
“It is very difficult to find a job nowadays. It is very difficult to feed ourselves here. Those who have gone home also face difficulties. I will tell you our difficulties — it is tough to go home. It is also tough to find a job in the city here, and all of us are struggling.”

Zhang has been sleeping in a hut near a construction site for almost a week. Being out of job has made it very difficult for him to survive in the big city.

Those who do manage to find work found themselves in a harsh working environment or working for less pay.

[Cao Guangming, Migrant Worker]:
“Now it is not easy to find a job, and the pay is lower than before. Before the Olympics, there were more job opportunities, and the pay was also higher. Now jobs and wages are less.”

Like many migrant workers in the city, Cao is not a legally registered laborer and so does not show up in official unemployment statistics.

Under China’s social security system, citizens can collect welfare payments only in the city where they hold a household registration permit, usually their birthplace.

That means the vast majority of rural migrants have no coverage.

[Yi Xianrong, Economist, Academy of Social Sciences]:
“Our country is facing a decline on exports. And the reduction of business orders is causing small and medium-sized enterprises, mostly labor-intensive, to close or cut their employees, and most of the employees are migrant workers from the countryside.”

China’s September urban jobless rate of 4.0 percent does not include those who do not report they are out of work. Nor does it include an estimated 150 million migrants working in cities.

Duration : 0:2:4