Employment Issues in the Development of Smaller Urban Centers in China

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.1, 2014


Employment Issues in the Development of Smaller Urban Centers in China



Ding Shouhai


Urbanization at the township and village levels is different from urbanization centered on larger cities. Apart from affecting employment of the labor stock in terms of demand, it acts as a multi-dimensional shock to the labor supply intentions of rural labor and changes the capacity of the labor pool. On the basis of surveys in Henan, Hunan and other three provinces, we find that urbanization at this level generally raises the non-agricultural supply intentions of different forms of labor, but this occurs without an absolute improvement in the demand for labor of non-agricultural industries, leading to variable employment results. In regions relying on the radiation effect of central cities to promote the coordinated growth of township development, industrialization and urbanization, there is a marked fall in involuntary unemployment. In those regions that are cut off from the synergistic effect of nearby cities and are promoting small-scale urbanization on their own, development of non-agricultural industries lags behind and involuntary unemployment intensifies. Therefore, we urgently need to solve the problem of industry convergence in promoting urbanization at the township and village levels, and this in turn depends on our devising a much more systematic and comprehensive model for promoting urbanization.