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New opportunities lure migrant workers home

(China Daily)

09:24, August 24, 2012

More Chinese migrant workers are heading back to their hometowns.

But the exodus is due not just to plummeting overseas orders, but new job opportunities in inner regions that are being created by industry's move from eastern coastal cities.

A survey conducted by People's Daily said the scale of the ongoing number of migrant workers returning home is much lower than it was in 2008.

In Henan province, the number of returned migrant workers increased to 430,000 in the first half of 2012, compared with 350,000 in the same period last year, according to the Department of Human Resources and Social Security of Henan province.

Lv Zhihua, an official of the department, said the number of returning migrants is normal, compared with the province's 3 million returned workers in 2008.

Sichuan province, another big supplier of migrant workers, saw the proportion of trans-provincial labor decline to 48.2 percent by the end of June, from 52.4 percent in 2011.

Lu Zhengwei, chief economist of the Industrial Bank Co, said the increasing number of returned workers show the problems with lingering falling exports and reduced orders. China's export growth plunges to 1 percent in July.

However, Fu Shaohong, a researcher of the Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences, said a more significant cause lies in the economic structural adjustment and improvement of work environment and income growth in inner regions.

"It's human nature that they opt to work closer to home if local businesses can provide a comparable offer," he said.
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