From Quantitative Issues to Structural Ones: An Interpretation of China’s Labor Market

Cai Fang

Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China

Abstract: Based on the latest demographic and labor data, this paper reveals the changes in China’s labor supply and demonstrates that China’s key employment issues are no longer quantitative contradictions but increasingly have become structural issues related to labor market mismatch. Due to real and potential economic growth rates being consistent, cyclical unemployment is, at least for now, not striking. If traditional policy measures continue to be followed in disregard of frictional and structural attributes of the labor market to increase total employment, not only will China’s employment issues persist but new labor market problems may arise as well. China should focus on addressing structural unemployment contradictions.

Keywords: cyclical unemployment, frictional unemployment, structural unemployment, quantitative issues of employment, structural issues of unemployment


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