There were times when people knew their places and stayed in them, never budging and certainly never imagining that they could change their lives into something else. Those times are a thing of the past thankfully. Even the Chinese have cottoned on to the fact that they don’t need a revolution these days to radically change their situation. When will we open our eyes to that and start realizing it? How may harp on about the fact that it’s never going to happen. The trouble is, when the scene is happening right in front of your eyes, you tend not to take any notice because it’s under your nose, or the changes are so insidiously small that you don’t actually notice them. But, China is slowly turning from workforce and sweat shop worker of the world into the world’s investor. That will leave the worker status open to the economies that are up and coming and that we should be focusing on today if we want to get some of the Asian pie up for grabs.
China’s workforce has declined for the second year in a row according to figures released recently. That will mean there are going to be knock-on effects for countries in the Western world but also in Indonesia, the Philippines and India in the coming years as production shifts to those countries while China concentrates on the financial aspect of its economy.
• The working population is all those people in China that are aged between 15 and 59 years of age.
• That workforce currently stands at 67.6%of the total Chinese population.
• That figure fell in 2013 in comparison to the previous year’s figure, by 1.6%.
• There are currently 919.54 million people that are in the workforce-age range today in China.
• The fall means a reduction of 2.44 million.
• The figures were issued on Monday January 20th 2014 by the National Bureau of Statistics.
But, will the country become the world of investors that we are having stuck in our pipes and being told to smoke? It might not actually happen as the Chinese grow older faster than they get rich enough to invest elsewhere, in fact. The demographic disaster has been sitting there chuckling for decades now, waiting to hack them down. Fertility rates dropped drastically due to the one-child policy and the workforce was once young, dynamic and vibrant. Now, it has just grown old.
Will the one-child policy have an effect on the ascent of the country, sending it into the abysses of the economic slump that we might all dread? In 2050, 22% of China’s population will be over 65 years old and way out of the present range of the workforce.
It wasn’t for the fun of it that the 1980-era policy of one-child per family was relaxed at the end of 2013 to allow certain families (those that had no siblings) to have a second child. It is estimated that the policy has stopped 400 million births in China. But, the consequences have been a ticking time-bomb foreboding of the collapse of the Chinese economy because of an ageing population and a falling workforce. This is coupled with the dire state of the healthcare and retirement system in the country that china is attempting to rectify since it can see the brick wall in the distance.
But, will the changes in that policy lead to a rise in the predictions that are being made regarding the workforce? Some say that the workforce decline has already been set in motion and there’s nothing to stop that immediately. It is predicted to fall to 743 million in 2040 and reach 650 million by 2050. The removal of the one-child policy (entirely or in part) will not allow for anything than the unavoidable. What was predicted long ago is already happening. There are 118 males born for every 100 females today in the country and that means that there is a lack of child-bearing women in order to create stability in the growth of population.
China may not make it into the top economic spot just yet, simply because they had a hardline policy that was incorrect from the start. Other countries will most certainly benefit from that decline and will be waiting in the wings to take center stage.