China announces millions of layoffs in coal, steel industries

EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

According to the Chinese Minister, for human resources, the workers that are made redundant should be relocated and offered training.

The Chinese government is trying to restructure the national economy making the transition from a developing market status quo to a developed one


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Close to 1.3 million workers in the coal and steel industries will be laid off, according to Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin. According to the Minister, the workers that are made redundant should be relocated and offered training.

Overall, the Chinese government is on the process of restructuring its economy making it less dependent on fossil fuels, reducing industrial overcapacity and boosting services. According to figures published in the CIA World Factbook, services contributed the most in the 2015 Chinese GDP as they contributed the 48.4% of the national GDP. The industry sector was attributed the 42.7% of the GDP and agriculture was at 8.9%.

Still, compared with the so-called developed economies the contribution of the industry in the national GDP is considered high. In Germany for instance, which is considered an industrialized state, in 2015, agriculture contributed 0.7% to the GDP, the industry, 30.2% and services 69.1%.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai participated at a State Council meeting on Tuesday and asked from the local governments to support mass entrepreneurship and innovation in order to create jobs, which will help the Chinese workers to raise the labor skills. Ma said that the government’s goal is to combine “stable employment along with economic expansion.”

Despite the massive layoffs, Yin stressed that China has successfully met its employment targets for the past five years with 64 million jobs added and a low registered unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

Another major plan for the Chinese Communist government is to reduce pollution by boosting renewable energy investments and supporting deurbanizing efforts.

On 22 February, the Global Wind Energy Council reported that China leads all other countries in wind energy capacity with 145.10 GW. Moreover, in 2015 China installed 30,500 MW of new wind power, compared to the world total of 63,000 MW.

Xinhua also reported that after the announcement of the massive layoffs, Ma said that the migrant workers (workers who migrated from villages to urban centers) should be encouraged to start their own businesses back in their hometown.

 

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