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China Daily Website

China's labor force drops for first time in 2012

Updated: 2013-01-18 13:57
By Li Jiabao (

China's working age population in 2012, the labor force aged from 15 to 59, reduced by 3.45 million from a year earlier to 937.27 million. The drop accounted for 69.2 percent of China's overall population, which was 0.6 percentage point less than the previous year. The first drop "in a quite long time", Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, told a news briefing on Friday.

The decrease is related to the change in birth rate and the working age population will "steadily shrink" by 2030, Ma said. He added that China still occupies the advantage with a working age population of more than 9 million.

The improvement in social productivity and labor skills will extend China's demographic dividend and provide a driving force for GDP growth in the future.

China's GDP expanded 7.8 percent year-on-year in 2012, which was a relatively slow pace owing to a challenging international situation as well as long-term factors, Ma said. He added that the moderate growth between 7 and 8 percent from the double digit growth in the past decades is in line with China's economic change regulation.


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