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Ministry: Rural migration to rise
( 2003-08-01 07:08) (China Daily)

The Ministry of Agriculture has predicted that more rural workers will migrate to the cities this year, based on a survey conducted by the ministry's research unit.

In April and May, 10 per cent of migrant workers from rural areas returned home because of fears over severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

But, at the end of May, the labourers began to go back to work in the cities. The rate of migration has now returned to normal levels.

The ministry predicted that at least 95 million rural workers will have migrated to the cities during the whole of this year despite the influence of SARS.

The survey was based on data collected from 279 villages in the mainland's 31 administrative regions.

Between January and June, 56,741 rural labourers in the villages -- 18.6 per cent of all the labourers there --left home to work elsewhere for at least three months, an increase of 4.8 per cent over the same period last year.

The researchers estimated that 90.1 million rural labourers migrated in the first half of this year, 4 million more than during the same period of last year.

The survey found that half of the rural migrant workers have already secured stable jobs this year, and only 5.7 per cent failed to land a job.

The number of rural labourers leaving home without a job already lined up has decreased.

Instead, more are leaving home to enter a job arranged for them by friends, relatives or intermediary agents.

Nearly 20 per cent of the migrants had received training in a skill and another 20 per cent had acquired a technical speciality.

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