When China’s President Hu Jintao made his first official visit to Washington in April of 2006, President Bush asked his counterpart which of the numerous challenges China faced was the most serious — which one kept Hu awake at night worrying. “Unemployment,” Hu reportedly answered without hesitating.
China’s President Hu Jintao speaks at a celebration meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA)
From the BBC
Companies in two Chinese provinces, Shandong and Hubei, have been told they must seek official consent if they want to lay off more than 40 people.
The order highlights the Chinese authorities’ concern over mounting job losses.
As China’s main external markets plunge into recession and export orders shrink, layoffs have multiplied in the country’s big manufacturing regions.
In Shandong alone, nearly 700,000 people have lost their jobs this year.
In southern Guangdong, tens of thousands of firms have closed, sparking off reverse migration to the countryside by redundant workers.
China’s economic growth has slowed sharply this year to around 8 percent – high by world standards, but much less than the double-digit figures seen for years.
Read the rest: