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就业问题背后的人口红利与全民动员
合伙人  杲占强   《中国对外贸易》   总第5期
 
The sub prime in Wall Street of USA finally turned into global economic crisis, with China, as the second largest export ry in the world, caught in the biting cold economic storm. As the declining export directly plays on the weakness of Chinese economy, shrinking domestic demand and weak export market worsens the employment situation in China. It seems that the employment and re-employment has become the top task for Chinese government. Why the economic crisis has such a large influence on Chinese job market may be related to the three problems come up in the development of Chinese economic development.

First, the three driving forces of Chinese economy are not balanced. In recent years, investments (especially the private investments) and consumption haven’t played their roles fully, causing a dependency of Chinese economy on export. As the global economic crisis causing by sub loan storm broke out, lots of Chinese export-oriented companies went bankrupt, leading to tens of thousands of jobless workers. According to a statistics issued by National Development and Reform Committee, in the first half of 2008, 67,000 small and dle-sized companies in China closed down.

Second, the pressure economic structure adjustment pushes the industrial upgrade and transformation, which means the share in GDP by labor-intensive enterprises will decline in the next 5 to 10 years, and that the number of employees in traditional industries will decrease, too. Facing the crisis, many companies in Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta closed down, because relatively weaker labor-extensive companies go bankrupt during the industry transfer process, and thousands of companies more are forced to be relocated. As a result, lots of farmer workers lost their former positions. This unemployment, caused by economic structure adjustment, will expand in the following three to five years.

Third, the environment for enterprises needs improvements, especially the tax burdens and the social costs, which restricts the development of the companies and the private capital ventures. The Labor Law carried out last year further worsened the environment for new companies. To be honest, private companies still can’t compete with these of state owned and foreign capitals at the same stage. According to the data, though few employees in the state owned and foreign companies lost their positions, few new positions can be provided by these companies.

Basing on the analysis above, still, the main solution for the employment problem is the private companies, especially the dle and small-sized companies. The foreign companies and the state owned enterprises can’t get the ultimate solution of this problem. So, we should focus on how to obtain the demographic bonus and to develop the private economy.

From the aspect of labor market, oversupply of labors as a whole still exists, and the structural problem caused by surplus of low end labors still the main problem. Dividing the labor market into three sectors as senior professionals, skilled labors and junior labors, the first two kinds of labors are in short supply, while the third type is oversupplied. This reflects the education level in China, especially the low vocational education. According to the experts the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, it is estimated that among the working-age population in China, labors with an education below junior dle school take a ratio of 80% or so, with the ratio in rural area up to 90%, or even higher. Low quality of labor force restricts the acquiring of a position and the usage of labor resources. Due to the workers have not been effectively educated and trained with suitable knowledge structure and vocational skills, the potential vast demographic bonus in China can not be “cashed”, which will cause a situation of “aged population in a still not rich ry” emerging in the next 20 years. The pressure on future economic development in China will further increase.

Meanwhile, we should notice that the educational investments are still low, and there is a disjoint between the education structure and the market demand. With a low investment, the basic education, vocational education and college education are ignored, while high academic education is a bit overheated, causing a waste of educational resources. Then there comes the problem of lack of skilled labors and unemployment of graduates. Due to the outdated education structure, universities do their jobs paying no attention to the market demand, and the graduates can’t meet requirements the employers. So we must connect the education with the society and establish a theory that human resources are the primary resource, to realize the value of working-age population in the market.

Of course, demographic bonus will be realized through full employment. In the process of industry transformation, especially in current situation, the government, the companies and personal should join together to deal with the re-employment problem, or the effect will be no satisfaction.

Once I read a piece of news: Cheng Siwei, vice chairman of the tenth NPC Standing Committee, said on the forum that Chinese government will improve the employment through 4 trillion RMB investments. Such an investment will boost the construction of infrastructure and active the job market. But, it should notice that the investments are not enough at all, and only the development of private economy can realize “cash” the demographic bonus.

For this, more and more scholars suggest the government to reduce the tax, giving real help to the companies. Among the 4 trillion RMB investments, what share can small and dle-sized companies take? In this way, it is better for companies to pay less tax. Xia Yeliang, vice director of foreign economics research center in Beijing University, said: “The corporate tax rate and personal tax rate in China must be the top three, if not the highest in the world. The corporation tax rate in China is estimated at 40% or above in average, even to 60%, considering all the apparent and hidden taxes. ” Such a high tax rate is no good to the development of companies, especially for the new ones.

Besides, the government should make special plans to increase the job positions, support the dle and small-sized companies, and levy employment promotion tax to subsidy new positions and provide special services to those companies with difficulties. The government should spare no effort to train citizens with a lower education, like tickets for trainings, to equip the people with skills, for a maximum of the demographic bonus.

The power of the government is limit, so the companies should take responsibilities of employing the graduates. Behind a Strong ry, there are powerful companies, and the strength of a company depends on the growing enterpriser and employees with professionalism. So far as I know, many famous companies in the world, like Panasonic, all take personal training as a task, even if the trained employees will leave. In a worsening economic environment, it is necessary for the companies to explore, train and keep the talents. Through the growth of employees, get an all-win development of the companies, the society and the employees.

While the government and the government both are working, as the employees, graduates or farmer workers should optimistically face the current economic environment, try to improve self-owned knowledge structure and skills, win the competition and realize self value.