FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, January 03, 2005

Chinese Self-Employed Top 100 Million

Oh well, so much for communism... The Chinese news agency Xinhua reports that 100 million Chinese are now self-employed, accounting for more than 40 percent of those working in cities. The ranks of the self-employed include everyone from attorneys to writers to migrant workers. The report notes that many more Chinese are preferring to work in short-term jobs, posing a challenge to a government that's designed to support lifetime employment and social security.

What may be most interesting is what the government doesn't know about these workers. So much self-sufficiency may indicate a thriving underground economy and culture, out of sight of a state that remains paternal and wary of uncontrolled activity. Additionally, are we sure these workers -- especially those on the lower end of the scale -- actually "prefer" to work in this manner, or are these simply the only jobs available?

Source: China View