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China faces no labor shortage in near term, official says

Updated: Mar 6,2019 10:33 AM

China’s working-age population is expected to be large enough to sustain its economic and social development for decades ahead, though intensified efforts to upgrade the labor structure are needed, Wang Pei’an, a national political adviser, said on March 5.

The total working-age population in China, or the number of people aged between 15 and 64, stands at 990 million, and is projected to be 950 million in 2030 and 820 million in 2050, Wang said at a news conference during the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

He is also the deputy head of the National Health Commission.

“There is no labor shortage now in China and the country will see sufficient labor volume for 30 to 50 years,” he said. “But there’s lack of high quality talents and skilled workers.”

China has pledged to improve the quality of its working-age population, in a bid to boost labor productivity and drive economic growth, according to Wang.

Scientific and technological advances, including artificial intelligence, will also be deployed to increase productivity.

Wang said the developed countries in Europe and America records a total of 730 million people at working age, but they boast an economic output four times larger than China’s and a sixfold labor productivity rate.

“China is sure to see abundant labor force in the future, and we are committed to boosting the quality of labor and building China into a country with strong human capital resources.”