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More choose to return to work, live in Sichuan

By Huang Zhiling in Chengdu | China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-02 11:06

With huge investment in province, especially its capital Chengdu, many migrants are coming home

Niu Qi gave a sigh of relief, after waving former colleague last month at Chengdu Railway Station North.

The colleague was catching a train to Ningbo, Zhejiang province - a grueling journey, and Niu was so relieved not to be making the journey herself.

"I no longer have to elbow my way into the station during the Spring Festival peak travel season," she said, "and sit on a packed hard-seat compartment for 34 hours."

A native of Dayi county, Sichuan province, Niu has just quit her job in a shoe factory in Ningbo, where she had worked for 11 years, to take care of her 6-year-old daughter, who is starting primary school in the southern suburbs of Chengdu in September.

She has found a job locally, at another shoe factory, at a monthly salary of 2,600 yuan ($418).

"Although that's 400 yuan less than my salary in Ningbo, prices are lower in my home province. And it is important to be with my family," she said.

Niu is just one of a growing number of migrant workers now choosing to stay in their home province of Sichuan, rather than earning their money often many miles away from their families.

With a population of 90 million, Sichuan has been one of China's largest labor-exporting provinces in recent years.

In 2000, about 6 million rural people left the province, and last year that figure rose to more than 11 million.

But the year was significant too, in that it marked the first time that more rural migrant workers were exported to other parts of Sichuan, rather than outside the province, said Xiong Jianzhong, a spokesman for the Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Statistics, who revealed that in 2012, nearly 13 million Sichuan rural migrant workers left their hometown to work in other parts of the province.

Hao Yuenan, the deputy chief of the information office of the Sichuan provincial government, added: "The reason for the change in the labor export pattern is that Sichuan has witnessed rapid economic development in the past five years."

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