working for 1 or more years, or “temporary, provisional,” defined as having worked for less than 1 year.31 Many of the latter employees may simply be workers who have not yet been on the job long enough to qualify as long-term workers, even though that is the intent of both employer and employee. It is possible that the census included more of China’s actual temporary manufacturing workers than are included in the annual enterprise reports, although there does not appear to be any proof that such a bias or shortfall exists in enterprise data.
A minor cause of differences in manufacturing employment between census data and annual data is that the censuses of 1990 and 2000 recorded employment of the population aged 15 years and older, whereas compiled annual data are supposed to refer to the population aged 16 years and older.32 According to 2000 census data, China had a total of 334,000 manufacturing workers who were exactly age 15 in the last week of October 2000.33 Therefore, 0.33 million of the 8.00 million differential between census and annual enterprise numbers of manufacturing workers in China in 2000 could have been caused by the inclusion of workers aged 15 years in census data and their apparent exclusion from annual employment data.
At the older end of the working ages, the census was supposed to include as employed everyone aged 15 years and older in the long-form sample population who had worked for income either part time or full time in the week before the census, no matter what their age. China’s regular employment statistics define working ages as 16-59 years for men, 16-54 years for women working in white-collar jobs, and 16-49 years for women in blue-collar jobs. In theory, with regard to urban workers, only those in these age groups are included in the category of staff and workers. Employed people who are still working beyond the statutory working ages or who have been rehired after retiring from a job are supposed to be included in the category of “other” urban employment, in a subcategory of retirement-age workers who have been rehired or who have continued working. The aforementioned working ages do not apply to agricultural employment, and it is not clear whether they have any relevance to rural or town manufacturing employment. In theory, annual employment statistics, as well as census employment statistics, should include all those people in their fifties, sixties, and older who are working to earn income. Therefore, at the older working ages, there should be no age cutoff in employment statistics and no definitional difference between census figures and annual enterprise data on manufacturing or other employment.
Urban and rural manufacturing workers
In China’s annual statistics on employment in manufacturing, the categories “rural” (xiangcun) and “urban” (chengzhen) are profoundly problematic.34 If these employment statistics followed China’s official statistical definition of urban and rural places and populations, then urban would include manufacturing employment in cities (chengshi or cheng) and in towns incorporated as urban places (zhen). The urban manufacturing figures should include actual workers in manufacturing in cities and towns, regardless of whether the workers have or do not have their permanent residence or registration there. If rural villagers are employed full-time in manufacturing in an urban town (zhen) or in a