Coronavirus and Job Losses in China: SCMP

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in China has climbed to more than 60,000 cases with more than 1,300 dead. Chinese authorities early on took steps to curtail crowds, resulting in an economic slowdown and “firms faced with tough decision whether to reduce staff levels and wages to be able to survive,” reports Sidney Leng for the South China Morning Post. Restaurants, hotels, retail stores are especially hard hit. The report describes a tourism/resort company reported reducing staff hours and salaries by 30 percent, a media firm laying off 10 percent of its workforce, and an education coding firm laying off all staff. A recruitment firm said 30 percent of firms plan job cuts and other 30 percent cannot pay employees in a timely way. China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang urged local governments and companies to ensure stability of the job market. Large businesses that do not lay off more than 5.5 percent of staff and firms with fewer than 30 employees who do not lay off 20 percent can apply for government subsidies. Some companies will delay mandatory social security payments. –YaleGlobal

Coronavirus and Job Losses in China: SCMP

China struggles to contain the coronavirus and protect jobs, as companies forced to decide whether to reduce wages or staff levels to survive
Sidney Leng
Thursday, February 13, 2020

Read the article from South China Morning Post about how the coronavirus influences China’s job market.

Sidney Leng joined the Post in 2015 after spending a year and a half working for US media, including National Public Radio and Foreign Policy Magazine. He has been covering China’s macroeconomic policies and financial regulations since 2016.

empty mall center in Beijing - Reuters photo

Stunning photo essay from Reuters shows China’s economy put on hold with empty streets and shopping places throughout China (Source:  Reuters)

Share of Global GDP China	19% US 	15% Rest	66%

Lion’s share: China represents the largest share of global GDP, based on purchasing power parity, and if the coronavirus lingers, economic fallout could spread worldwide (Source: Statista, 2019)

	China	East Asia   3%     4%     5% 2016	0.045	0.040 2017	0.044	0.039 2018	0.044	0.039 2019	0.044	0.039

In China, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labor force. (Source: ILO estimate and World Bank)

Also read “Official Statistics Understate Chinese Unemployment Rate” from the National Bureau of Economic Research: “China’s real unemployment rate is much higher than the official rate and, when correctly measured, is much closer to that in other nations at similar levels of development, according to ‘Long Run Trends in Unemployment and Labor Force Participation in China’ (NBER Working Paper No. 21460).”

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