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Urban Families Need Domestic Workers: Survey

Chinese cities could provide 20 million jobs for farmers as an official survey has found 70 percent of urban Chinese families need the help of domestic workers.

According to the results of a survey conducted by the State Statistics Bureau in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi'an and three other big cities, 70 percent of families need help in 17 areas which include electrical repairs, house cleaning and newspaper delivery.

About seven percent of families would offer regular jobs for reasonably long periods.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security information says that about 80 million Chinese farmers are working in urban areas, and an estimated 140 million more are expected to come to urban areas for work.

Experts say 130 million people in China are at least 60 years old, and the population is growing by 3 percent each year. The aging population, especially those over 80 years old, will also need help from domestic workers, said the expert.

The problem is that many urban families find it difficult to find the right domestic workers while competent farmers find it difficult to have access to those needing help, partly because of a lack of agencies to provide the right information to employees and employers.

Zhang Xianming, general manager of the "March 8" Domestic Work Co, the biggest of its kind in Beijing, said China needs to formulate national standards for domestic work in a bid to promote the industry.

(Xinhua News Agency June 8, 2002)

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