We can now discern more or less when the catch-up growth miracle will sputter out. Another seven years or so – enough to bouy global coal, crude, and copper prices for a while – but then it will all be over. China’s demographic dividend will be exhausted.
Beijing revealed last week that the country’s working age population has already begun to shrink, sooner than expected. It will soon go into “precipitous decline”, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Japan hit this inflexion point fourteen years ago, but by then it was already rich, with $3 trillion of net savings overseas. China has hit the wall a quarter century earlier in its development path.
The ageing crisis is well-known. It is already six years since a Chinese demographer shocked Davos with a warning that his country might have to resort to mass suicide in the end, shoving pensioners onto the ice.
Less known is the parallel – and linked – labour drain in the countryside. A new IMF paper – “Chronicle of a Decline Foretold: Has China Reached the Lewis Turning Point?” – says the reserve army of peasants looking for work peaked in 2010 at around 150 million. The numbers are now collapsing.
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China’s working-age population shrank in 2012, marking the beginning of a trend that will accelerate over the next two decades and have profound implications for the world’s second-largest economy. By the end of December China’s population aged between 15 and 59 was 937.27 m, a decrease of 3.45m from 2011, according to figures released by … Continue reading »
A slowdown in China’s economy has not caused employment woes, officials have claimed, but they also warned of challenges as the country’s small companies are confronting growing difficulties. The country’s urban registered unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent in the first three months of 2012, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Ministry of … Continue reading »
The booming Chinese economy means that technology firms – particularly e-commerce companies – are struggling to find skilled candidates and managers to help fuel that growth. The latest Salary and Employment Forecast from international recruitment company Michael Page shows that there is strong growth in demand for technology professionals across sectors such as finance and retail, … Continue reading »