I'm back home now and so I thought I would write a few blogs regarding my misconceptions of China. Of course looking for work, employment is high on my agenda and I considered the situation of the Chinese worker as I watched China grow in those eight years.
I thought sweat shops was the norm. People working in packed cramped conditions earning little wages in appalling conditions. Perhaps that may have been the situation in 2007 but I'm convinced it is not the case now.
The first inclination, I was wrong, came when I was working for Cengiz Dana in 2012 at Just Me and Mine. He took me on a tour of his factory and I took some video and pictures of the conditions. I was very surprised to find them actually pleasant and a work force happy and well paid.
I am not one though to take one example as the truth and have always relied on economic figures and math to guide my thoughts. Was i wrong or was Cengiz just the good guy I thought he was. Using figures gained from the website Trading Economics I first looked at the annual wages compared to 2007 and was surprised to see that they had increased over that time by a whopping 100% +
Ok so the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, I thought and decided to look at the monthly wages for those working in manufacturing. As you can see they have more than doubled since 2008, greater than the average increase in wages. For me the myth was busted. However, what about job vacancies surely with a rise that great those figures must be dropping like a stone. Not so it seems with more job vacancies now as of then. So how about the unemployment rate. You would think that those may have changed dramatically. However, I found that although during the GFC the figures rose to 4,3% unemployment has been very consistent at 4.1%. In conclusion I can only concede that my misconception of employment in China of sweat shops and low paid underprivileged workers is wrong. I thought as much as I looked around me and saw the swelling population of Kaiyin and the ever increasing number of cars on the road but now I must admit, without a doubt I am wrong.
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