Experts at launch ceremony for a labor market observation book
said Thursday that the number of Chinese people engaged in
irregular employment now exceeds 130 million. Complete employment
statistics, management and social assistance policies are greatly
needed to improve the current situation.
The term "informal employment" refers to regular employment in
casual sectors or informal employment in formal sectors. Vendors,
small-scale family operations, self-employed businesspeople or
temporary enterprise workers all fall under these categories.
Ren Yuan, a professor in the humanities school at Fudan
University, served as editor-in-chief of the Report on China's
Development of Informal Employment in 2006. He pointed out that a
group of this size working as an informal labor force would well
explain why China's employment rate has stayed so low as the
economy has continued to grow fast.
He stressed that many informal employees have not included in
employment statistics, since data is only collected from
In face of heavy employment pressure, China has encouraged young
graduates, full of energy and creativity, to start their own
businesses. However, beneficial policies such as social insurance
systems are not yet in place for informal employees. There are
still other problems of high concern, such as human resources
management and personal records management. All these difficulties
have discouraged many recent graduates from striking out on their
Ren called for a favorable environment with better systems,
governmental support and social assistance as means of regulating
informal employment, so as to improve the situation and create more
pathways for graduates.
(CRI December 21, 2007)