manufacturing employees if they have been in the city for 6 months or longer. Also, annual enterprise data for urban manufacturing units are, in theory, required to include workers from rural areas in the category of urban manufacturing “staff and workers.” Specifically, the urban employment classification “on-post staff and workers” includes the category “workers whose population registration is in rural areas”; all these figures are to be reported monthly, quarterly, and annually.56 According to the NBS, the official series on manufacturing employment in urban units (see table 1) included a total of 4.59 million migrant manufacturing workers (whose household registration was still in rural areas) at yearend 2002. The 4.59 million figure constituted 15 percent of the 29.81 million manufacturing employment in urban units; the number of in-migrant manufacturing workers with rural population registration increased to 5.46 million at yearend 2003, or 18 percent of manufacturing employment in urban units at the end of that year. 57
Many millions of young rural workers have migrated to China’s export- manufacturing zones in the most recent decade and a half to work in factories. Sometimes these factories are within city administrative boundaries, but often they are located in industrial parks, suburban areas, built-up periurban industrial zones, towns, or rural regions where agricultural land is being taken over for manufacturing zones. Both foreign and domestic employers who are eager to keep down their labor costs and statistical reporting requirements may prefer that their export-processing factories be classified as rural or TVE.58 Under such a classification, they need meet few, if any, requirements to pay social insurance and other welfare obligations for their hundreds or thousands of production and hand-assembly workers, and, at the same time, data-reporting requirements for their enterprises are minimal. Many of the migrant manufacturing workers in these factories may be counted in China “rural” manufacturing employment figures or in the TVE manufacturing industry employment numbers. (See table 1.)
There is, however circumstantial evidence that not all migrant workers are included in China’s official annual employment data. China’s November 1, 2000, census estimated that there were already 14.60 million migrant rural-to-urban manufacturing workers, constituting 25 percent of all manufacturing workers in cities and urban towns.59 Worker migration has been increasing since then, especially for manufacturing, so the number likely was larger by the end of 2002.
Other indirect evidence from one province points to the same conclusion. Shanghai Municipality carried out a detailed survey of its “floating population” (liudong renkou) as of August 1, 2003.60 The survey estimated that in-migrants from other provinces who had been in Shanghai Municipality for a day or more totaled 4.99 million. Of these individuals, 3.75 million were employed, yet the Shanghai Statistical Yearbooks exclude even long-term in-migrants from their figures on the total population of the municipality and, therefore, probably from the total employment figures (7.43 million at yearend 2002; 8.13 million at yearend 2003) and the manufacturing employment figures as well.61 Data on manufacturing employment in Shanghai Municipality in the China Labor Statistics Yearbooks are based on the data in the Shanghai Statistical Yearbooks. Shanghai Municipality reportedly had 2.69 million manufacturing workers at yearend 2002 and about 2.61 million at yearend 2003.62 As of August 1, 2003, there were 1.27 million floating in-migrant manufacturing workers in Shanghai Municipality. It appears that these migrant manufacturing workers were largely excluded from the official data