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Forty percent of workers work as freelancers
Updated: 2005-01-03 11:18

The Chinese government reported nearly 40 percent of the urban employees are working as freelancers in a country where people used to have only one job through their whole life.

China has more than 100 million freelancers who sell their services to employers yet do not have a long-term commitment to any of them, said Wang Dongjin, vice-minister of Labor and Social Security at a recent symposium celebrating the 10th anniversary of Labor Law.

Freelancers are engaging in various professions - both white and blue collar - including lawyers, writers, journalists, translators, maids, and labor contractors or other labor workers who sell their service on temporary terms, said Wang.

Wang said the ministry will deal with the challenges brought by the new trend as wage distribution, social welfare, work relations for freelancers are largely different from those for people work under traditional employment terms.

For decades, Chinese considered the workplace as a second home. Once they chose a job, they would stay on the job for life. People without stable jobs were frequently looked down upon.

The trend of surging freelancers, though diversifying the job market, has led to frequent job changes and large numbers of people working without written contracts with their employers.

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