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China's migrant workers fall in number as economy slows
April 28, 2017 / 11:43 AM / 7 months ago

China's migrant workers fall in number as economy slows

BEIJING (Reuters) - The number of Chinese migrant workers leaving their home provinces to find work slowed for the sixth year in a row last year, the statistics bureau said on Friday, as economic growth slows.

Workers sit outside a construction site in the Central Business District in Beijing, China, April 18, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

The number fell 1 percent from 2015 to 76.66 million.

Reuters reported last year that jobs for China’s migrant workers were drying up as growth slowed and they were heading home where salaries are lower than in larger cities.

Older migrant workers are a growing pool of labour with the average age of workers in 2016 at 39, up 0.4 years from 2015, according to the statistics bureau. Over-50s made up 19.2 percent of the labour pool, up from 17.9 percent in 2015.

China’s migrant workers totalled 281.71 million in 2016, up 1.5 percent from 2015 and their average monthly salary rose 6.6 percent to 3572 yuan (404.23 pounds), according to the statistics bureau.

China’s official unemployment rate has been around 4 percent for years, despite the rapid slowdown from double-digit growth to quarter-century lows, and does not include migrant workers.

Reporting by Sue-Lin Wong; editing by Nick Macfie

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