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.

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