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Erring on side of caution

(China Daily)

08:08, August 29, 2012

The employment of China's vast number of migrant workers not only concerns their own well-being, it serves as a barometer of the country's economic health.

Sporadic media reports on migrant workers - mostly farmers seeking jobs in cities - returning home because of the worsening job situation in coastal regions are on the rise, causing concerns about the health of the economy.

But despite the anecdotal evidence of job cuts, policymakers will not rush to adopt any stimulus package unless they are convinced that unemployment has risen to a level where job creation through stimulus is unavoidable.

Back in 2008, when the Chinese economy was hit hard by the global financial crisis, about 20 million migrant workers lost their jobs and had to return to their rural homes, according to official figures. This was one of the main reasons the government launched its massive stimulus package.

But those anticipating another large stimulus this time around are likely to be disappointed, partly because the situation is not as bad as it was four years ago, and partly because the government will be extra-cautious this time around.

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