China Fact of the Day

Foxconn Technology Group, for example, the giant electronics manufacturer that builds components for Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Apple in gigantic plants in Shenzen and elsewhere in urban China, will soon employ enough people to fill 60 percent of the jobs in Manhattan. Foxconn has close to 920,000 workers, nearly all of whom are under 25; in August, the company announced plans to add 400,000 more workers in the next year.

That's from Ted Fishman's interesting piece in the New York Times Magazine about how demographic trends shape globalization. Aging employees in developed countries require increasingly expensive health care plans. Fishman says health care costs for American workers between 50 and 65 are, on average, almost two times what they are for 30 and 40 somethings. The youthfulness of China's workforce is one reason why it's so cheap and attractive to first-world companies. But China won't be young forever. Will it become old before it becomes rich? There are other interesting observations about urbanization and immigration.

2 Responses to China Fact of the Day

  1. China’s going to get older, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, nor will it leave them with a major labor shortage. If current estimates hold out, in 2040 there will still be 600 MILLION workers in China between the age of 30 and 60… that’s more labor than any economy on earth can effectively utilize. Keep in mind that most of China’s labor force is still working in low-efficiency sharecrop farming; they have 500 million farmers doing work that 10 million using modern equipment and methods could easily take care of.

  2. It was nice of you to share this post. Since China implemented their one-child policy, their young population began to decline and we would be expecting people over the age of 65 to increase in number. And that would be bad for their country. Because in our time today, companies would want to hire younger people who are more inclined to new technologies. And even if people over the age of 50 or 65 would be knowledgeable about these technologies, we would not know of their physical well-being would be able to cope up with the competitive world of economy.

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