China is facing a dwindling labor force to farm and produce radios

China is facing a dwindling labor force to farm and produce radios

Staff Writer
Staff Writer
Pinduoduo Content Team
September 5, 2020

China's labor force has changed in the past decade as the economy continued to transition to being increasingly driven by consumption.

According to the Chinese Social Survey, China's agricultural and blue-collar workers have declined as a proportion of the labor force between 2008 and 2019. Service industry jobs now make up a more significant part of the labor force, rising from 19.8% in 2008 to 26.5% in 2019. Freelancers have increased to 5.6% of the labor force, reflecting the growth in the so-called gig economy.

For agriculture, the workforce's decline - from 44.9% in 2008 to 30.6% in 2019 - is compounded by its aging. Farmers aged 40 and below made up 61.7% of those involved in agriculture in 2008. In 2019, just 52.1% of the workers fell in that age bracket. The proportion of those 50 and older rose to 22.4% last year, up from 14.3% in 2008.

That has made promoting agricultural digitization an even more pressing task. Digitizing agriculture can help raise the productivity of agriculture, reduce the amount of hard labor required, improve the cost-effectiveness and boost small farm holders, according to a recent essay by a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.