This city's younger workers are under pressure at work and
appear to be suffering from it, according to the results of a
The survey, conducted by the Shanghai Women's Federation, found
that most of the families in the city said they felt constant
pressure from one source or another, but social competition and
stress related to work were the main sources.
And young families said they were suffering the most.
Among the 875 randomly chosen families, only 13 percent said
they had never felt any pressure.
Other people said they suffered pressure as a result of having
to support and educate their children, or because of financial
problems, a lack of job security, a debt burden or family
The intensity and causes of the pressure people said they felt
did not vary by gender in most categories, though it was a
different story when broken down by age and education. Young and
well-educated families, or those under 35 and with a college degree
or above, said they felt the most pressure. Sixty-four percent of
the respondents from that group said they felt serious pressure,
which they attributed to work, a desire for more training and
By contrast, half of the families aged 36-50, 50 and above and
those under the age of 35, but with only high school education or
less, said they felt serious pressure.
Xu Anqi, a sociologist at the Shanghai Academy of Social
Science, said it was normal for people in a society in transition
to feel pressure. Young people in particular could feel insecure
amid an unstable economic situation and unclear future.
Xu added that the lack of universal healthcare and a pension
system added to people's feelings of insecurity.
Cao Ming, a 30-year-old financial controller who works for a
Japanese pharmaceutical company, said he felt constant
"I have to support my family, pay a mortgage, save money to have
a baby and improve myself as well if I want to advance in my
career," Cao said. "I suffer insomnia once in a while."
He said he relieved the pressure by talking with his wife,
though sometimes he said he did not have the energy to have a
Like Cao, few people in Shanghai seek professional help to deal
with their stress. Two percent of the respondents to the survey
said they met with therapists when they faced tough situations at
work or in their relationships.
Nineteen percent said they had never talked with a therapist,
but might go in the future. And 79 percent said they would never
seek professional help to solve their problems.
(China Daily March 2, 2007)