Archive for ‘employment’

04/02/2019

China grants tax benefit to boost employment of the needy

BEIJING, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) — The Chinese government has decided to grant a three-year-long tax benefit to inspire self-employment and support small companies to hire more people in need.

Under a decision jointly announced Saturday by the Ministry of Finance, State Taxation Administration and other governmental departments, people in need who start a business can have 12,000 yuan (about 1,790 U.S. dollars) deducted from their families’ annual share of taxes over three years.

The preferential treatment will target those registered as needy, jobless for more than half a year, on subsistence allowances or recent graduates from higher educational institutions.

The decision allows provincial-level governments to raise tax relief by 20 percent at most, depending on the needs of the region.

Companies who have hired the needy and paid social insurances for them can also enjoy tax deductions to the tune of 6,000 yuan per person a year for three years.

Local governments at provincial levels can lift tax relief by 30 percent at most according to local conditions.

The tax deduction mainly covers value-added tax, urban maintenance and construction tax, educational surcharge and individual income tax and will be effective from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2021.

A separate statement, which was jointly issued Saturday by the Ministry of Finance, the State Taxation Administration and the Ministry of Veterans, said that self-employed veterans can also enjoy all the preferential treatments.

Companies who have hired veterans can also enjoy tax deduction to the tune of 6,000 yuan per person a year for three years. Local governments at provincial levels can lift tax relief by 50 percent at most according to local conditions.

Source: Xinhua

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12/01/2019

China’s premier says tax cuts support employment, economic stability

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s plans for tax cuts targeting smaller companies will help to support employment and economic stability, and will expand the country’s tax base over the long term, Premier Li Keqiang was quoted as saying on Saturday.

“Implementing tax cuts for small and micro enterprises is mainly to support employment,” Li said in comments posted on the Chinese government’s website.

Developing and strengthening small companies is linked to economic stability and stable employment, he said.

“Looking at the long term, this will continue to expand the tax base, conserve tax resources and ultimately achieve wins for mass employment, corporate profits and fiscal revenues,” he was quoted as saying, referring to the corporate tax cuts.

Li’s comments come amid growing official concern over China’s slowing economic growth and its impact on the labour market.

Chinese authorities plan to set a lower economic growth target of 6 to 6.5 percent in 2019, compared with “around” 6.5 percent in 2018, sources told Reuters, as weakening domestic demand and a damaging trade war with the United States drag on business activity and consumer confidence.

Analysts expect that China’s economy grew around 6.6 percent last year, its slowest pace since 1990, and it is expected to cool further in coming months before a slew of support measures start to kick in.

“The bottom line for the policymakers is social stability, which is crucially tied to the unemployment rate and job creation,” analysts at BoAML said in a recent note. “With U.S.-China trade risks still looming large, we believe policymakers would not hesitate to take pre-emptive measures to stabilise expectations on job stability.”

More growth boosting steps are expected this year as policymakers seek to avert the risk of a sharper slowdown.

China’s State Council, or cabinet, said on Jan. 9 that it would further reduce taxes for smaller companies. On Friday, Finance Minister Liu Kun said authorities would step up tax and fee cuts to lower corporate burdens.

13/01/2017

India’s Working Women – The Numbers – Briefly – WSJ

India has one of the world’s most lopsided female participation rates in its labor force, an imbalance global chains want to change as they establish foothold in the world’s second-most populous nation.

A Wall Street Journal article outlines how fast-food chains have become an unlikely source of female empowerment and employment.

Here is a look at the numbers behind the country’s female workforce.

Less Than One Third

Only 27% of India’s workforce is female, far below the world average of 50%, according to the World Bank. Tanzania has the highest percentage of women in its workforce, at 88%, while Syria has the lowest, at 14%.

63%

A vast majority of India’s working women–about 63%–are employed as helpers on farms. Women typically account for less than one in five employees in sectors outside agriculture.

1%

It is hardest to find women in the transportation sector in India, partly because families shield their daughters and sisters from traveling alone and forbid them from activities that may involve late nights, such as trucking. Only 1% of India’s transport sector is made up of women.

At Least One Third

At least one in three employees working for a global food chain in India is female. American fast-food chains offer female-only shifts, self-defense classes, mentoring programs and parents’ lunches to draw more women into their stores and convince their families they are a safe place to work. Having 30% workers as women may not seem particularly high, but that’s more than twice the average for the food-service industry in India, where only 14% workers are female.

Source: India’s Working Women – The Numbers – Briefly – WSJ

29/11/2016

How China Plans to Revamp Job Security – The Short Answer – Briefly – WSJ

China’s leaders are preparing to loosen job-security regulations as part of efforts to keep businesses afloat amid slowing economic growth. Here is what you need to know.

What Is China’s Labor Contract Law?

A broad set of standards on employment practices that took effect in 2008 after an unusually lengthy debate to safeguard worker rights and boost job security. Some businesses blame it for inflating wages.What Is Happening?The labor ministry has been consulting academics, lawyers and businesses on ways to revise the law to make it easier for businesses to hire and fire workers. The focus is on regulations related to open-ended contracts and severance pay.

What Is at Stake?

The law’s most contentious regulations include one that gives employees the right to request an open-ended contract after 10 consecutive years at a company or two consecutive fixed-term contracts. Another contested provision states that laid-off workers are entitled to one month’s salary for every year of employment.

What Is Next?

Observers say the government may publish draft amendments for public comment next year. They would eventually go to the rubber-stamp parliament for approval.

Source: How China Plans to Revamp Job Security – The Short Answer – Briefly – WSJ

05/10/2016

Transforming lives in India’s manufacturing hubs – BBC News

By day she works as an assistant engineer, leading a team of 10 in a car factory manufacturing parts for Renault-Nissan Alliance vehicles.

The Make in India scheme aims to make the country a global manufacturing hub

Like hundreds of thousands of people across India, Sujitha‘s journey from an under-developed village in India’s south to the outskirts of the city of Chennai (Madras), has transformed her life.

“My native place is a small village called Kizhattur. There is not even proper transport over there,” says Sujitha. “Because I grew up in that situation, I knew that I had to study hard and find a job.”

And she did just that – albeit against the wishes of her family who wanted her to marry and settle down.Sujitha secured a diploma and when Renault-Nissan advertised a position for a junior engineer five years ago, she jumped at the opportunity.”I can’t even imagine what I would be doing if I did not work in this factory. Perhaps I would be in the village doing small jobs on the farm,” she says. “I would just about make ends meet.”

Detroit of Asia

Nissan and Renault are two of several international carmakers that have set up shop outside Chennai in the last 10 years.

Nearly a fifth of all cars made in India are produced in the area around Chennai in Tamil Nadu state

Today the area, known as the “Detroit of Asia”, is a thriving manufacturing hub where cars are produced for export as well as for the domestic market.India makes about 24 million vehicles a year, nearly a fifth of them in this region of Tamil Nadu state.

“We have seen a number of other car manufacturers establish plants in the state and that has helped us attract and help local suppliers relocate and set up in Tamil Nadu itself,” says Colin Macdonald, managing director of Renault-Nissan.

“Since 2010, we had about 15% of our suppliers in the Tamil Nadu area. We are now operating with 60% of our Indian suppliers in Tamil Nadu. So from an employment perspective, this is huge.

“High unemployment

Creating jobs is central to Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s Make in India campaign, an effort to promote inclusive growth in the country.Modi has promised foreign players he will make it easier to do business in India.

But more than two years after taking power, and after introducing a raft of policies, unemployment rates are at a five-year high.According to a recent government survey, about 77% of Indian households have no regular wage or salaried person, and so for many, life is not improving fast enough.

Domestic market growth

Despite that, success in places like Chennai is a sign that India remains appealing to foreign companies.Now that the area has become an auto hub, cost-effective raw materials can be sourced. With the port less than 100km away, it is easy to import parts and export products back out. Labour is cheap too.

Several car companies have set up shop on the outskirts of Chennai. Workers here are seen at Ford’s plant in Chengalpattu

The growth of the domestic market only adds to India’s appeal.”Today, only 20 in 1,000 people in India own a vehicle but we expect that to grow dramatically in the next five years and we expect the market to be five million cars by 2020, making India the third biggest market on the planet,” says Colin Macdonald.

A matter of pride

For Sujitha Rajendrababu, owning a car one day has become more of a reality than a dream.

“What I had dreamed of becoming in the future was made true by this job. I do not know how to express this.”

The daughter of a farmer, she has already used the money she has earned to buy a fridge, a TV, some jewellery and even a holiday around India. But her ambitions don’t stop there.

“My long-term goal is to become the manager of the stamping shop. I don’t only want to be the manager of the stamping shop, but of this organisation as well.”

And she wants the same for other people just like her.

“A lot of people in my village ask me if I can help them find jobs for their children. That makes me feel proud.”

Source: Transforming lives in India’s manufacturing hubs – BBC News

02/09/2016

Jobs elusive as India clings to fastest-growing economy tag | Reuters

It’s been two years since India emerged as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, but the rapid expansion has done little to improve the lot of Ashok Kumar.

Parked up and sitting on the kerb, the 25-year-old truck driver is going nowhere fast. He is the sole breadwinner for the 13 people in his extended family and his monthly salary is stuck at $150.

With new, better-paid jobs hard to come by, Kumar lacks options. He fears becoming unemployed like his elder brother, who recently returned to their village in Uttar Pradesh after months of searching in vain for work.

Data out on Wednesday showed India’s economic growth slowed to 7.1 percent in the quarter to June, a 15-month low. That is faster than other major economies, but not fast enough to create enough new jobs to absorb all the one million people who join the workforce every month.

A government survey found that job creation fell by more than two-thirds in 2015. Analysts at HDFC Bank estimate that for every percentage point the economy grows, employment now adds just 0.15 of a percentage point – down from 0.39 in 2000.

It’s a major challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has promised to create 250 million jobs over the next decade.

“For one job, there are at least 20 candidates,” said Kumar. “If you want the job, you can’t afford to bargain.”

Nearly two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people are under 35 years old. This rising demographic “bulge” will create the largest working-age population in the world. At the same time China, which has long curbed family size, will age as a society.

Whether this so-called demographic dividend will translate into the kind of economic gains seen in Japan and Korea, or lead to upheavals, depends on India’s ability to generate jobs.

Yet, despite average annual growth of 6.5 percent between 1991 and 2013, India added less than half the jobs needed to absorb new job seekers.

MORE WORKERS, FEWER JOBS

Under Modi, India has opened up further to foreign investment, hoping to generate more manufacturing jobs. A loan scheme for small businesses has been set up and there are plans for a $1.5 billion fund for startups.

Modi has also launched a programme to train over 4 million people in different skills in six years.Pronab Sen, country director for the International Growth Centre, a British-backed think tank, said such measures were “laudable”, but they aimed at boosting supply when more demand was needed.

“India has become a demand-starved economy,” Sen said. “If there is no demand, there will be no incentive to produce more which, in turn, will mean no new jobs.”

The level of desperation for work is staggering. In August, nearly half a million people, including post-graduates, applied for 1,778 jobs as sweepers in the city of Kanpur.

This was not a one-off. Last year, in Uttar Pradesh, 2.3 million people sought 368 low-level government jobs that required a primary education and ability to ride a bicycle.

Competition for such jobs has become fiercer as the public sector’s share in formal employment is declining.

Two years of drought has caused distress in farming, while the construction business has suffered a prolonged downturn – making work scarcer in the two sectors that employ the bulk of India’s unskilled workforce.

Satellite cities around the capital, like Greater Noida were, until recently, bustling with construction activity.

Now, Greater Noida’s skyline is dotted with half-built, abandoned, high-rises. Cranes and diggers stand idle.

In Delhi and the surrounding National Capital Region, housing starts fell 41 percent year-on-year in the first half of the year, according to consultancy Knight Frank. Across India, starts were down 9 percent from a year earlier.

Bhuwan Mahato, a contractor who supplies workers to construction projects around Noida, says demand for labour is down by at least 25 percent.

“I wish I hadn’t joined this business,” said Mahato, a 30-year-old migrant from the state of Bihar. “But, truthfully, there are no other opportunities, either.”

Source: Jobs elusive as India clings to fastest-growing economy tag | Reuters

27/05/2016

India Inc shows growth spreading by end of Modi’s sophomore year | Reuters

Indian companies are posting their best earnings results since Prime Minister Narendra Modi swept to power two years ago, giving the clearest sign yet that India’s fast, but patchy, economic growth is becoming more broad-based.

Though headline growth figures make India one of the world’s fastest growing economies, weak private investment and low capacity utilization rates have painted a less rosy picture.

Going by India Inc’s surge in profit growth in the first three months of the year, however, the outlook really does seem to be brightening, as benefits feed through from lower interest rates and government spending in infrastructure and defense.

On Tuesday, India will release gross domestic product data for the January-March quarter. Year-on-year growth of 7.5 percent is forecast by a Reuters survey economists, slightly faster than the previous quarter’s 7.3 percent.

“Macro indicators are suggesting that at the ground level the economy is gaining momentum,” said Dhiraj Sachdev, a fund manager at HSBC Asset Management in Mumbai.

“That has also been validated in terms of better corporate earnings in many of the sectors.”

Operating profits for 289 companies that have reported results so far leapt 25.5 percent year-on-year in the March quarter, compared with 1.7 percent growth in the previous quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It is Indian firms’ best showing since the April-June quarter in 2014.

Put alongside the 6.8 percent decline in earnings that data provider Factset reckons companies in the S&P 500 suffered during the same quarter, India’s corporates have some things going in their favor.

India’s broader National Stock Exchange share index .NSEI has surged around 17 percent from a near 2-year low on Feb. 29, outperforming a 7 percent gain by the Asia-Pacific MSCI index excluding Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS.

This week, Morgan Stanley upgraded Indian equities to “overweight” from “equalweight” citing rising dividends, and prospects of a simpler country-wide sales tax, lower interest rates and benign monsoon among its reasons.

Source: India Inc shows growth spreading by end of Modi’s sophomore year | Reuters

18/03/2016

Deep in a pit | The Economist

COMMUNIST Party give us back our money”, “We want to live, we need to eat!” Such were the slogans daubed on banners that were displayed on March 12th during a protest by thousands of coal miners in the dingy streets of Shuangyashan, a city in Heilongjiang province near the border with Russia.

The demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of Longmay, the largest mining company in the north-east and Heilongjiang’s biggest state-owned enterprise (SOE). They demanded wages which they said they had not received for at least two months. Some protesters blocked railway lines; others scuffled with police wearing riot gear. Internet censors deleted pictures of the unrest (such as the one shown) as they spread across social media.

The protest was one of the biggest by workers at an SOE for many years. It was an indication of the problems that China’s government will probably face as it seeks to cut excess capacity among SOEs like Longmay and reduce their enormous losses. In February the labour minister, Yin Weimin, said that 1.3m coal workers and 500,000 steel workers could lose their jobs over the next five years.

Other estimates say 3m-5m people may be thrown out of work in these industries as well as in aluminium production and glassmaking. That is far fewer than the tens of millions who lost their jobs during SOE restructuring in the late 1990s. But the economies of some cities, including Shuangyashan, are driven by a handful of large SOEs. In these, downsizing will be traumatic and possibly turbulent.

Labour unrest is rising everywhere as economic growth slows (see chart). Many firms, like Longmay, are reacting to financial distress by paying wages late or not at all. According to China Labour Bulletin, a Hong Kong-based NGO, there were 2,700 strikes last year, twice the number in 2014. In the two months leading up to China’s lunar new-year holiday in early February, there were over 1,000 strikes and protests, 90% of them related to the non-payment of wages. Three days after the protest in Shuangyashan, an almost equally large one began at Tonghua Steel in neighbouring Jilin province, also over wage arrears.

In Shuangyashan (its name, meaning Double Duck Mountains, refers to the shape of two nearby peaks), the authorities have tried to soothe the protesters by giving them overdue pay. Some mine workers say they have now begun receiving their salaries for January, and that they have been assured their pay packets for February will be coming soon. But the government remains nervous of further unrest. On March 15th police were still ubiquitous, on the streets of Shuangyashan as well as outside a nearby mine. In the city centre, a row of women who said the men in their families all worked in mines sat holding placards offering their services as cleaners or house painters. “We have no money to eat. What do they expect us to do?” said one woman angrily before being told by police to stop talking. A man who identified himself as a government official followed your correspondent everywhere.

The protests in Shuangyashan were particularly embarrassing for the party, occurring as they did during the 12-day annual session of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), which ended on March 16th. Every year during the NPC session, officials try even more strenuously than usual to prevent street unrest, lest it tarnish the image of political unity and national prosperity that they want the NPC to project (see article). Party bosses in Heilongjiang will get their knuckles rapped by leaders in Beijing for failing to anticipate this outbreak, which followed months of grumbling among Longmay’s workers about lay-offs and overdue pay. In September, the company said it would shed 100,000 of its 240,000 staff.

Source: Deep in a pit | The Economist

22/07/2015

India’s Labor Force – WSJ

India’s urban women are four times less likely to be in paid work than their male counterparts with the most educated being the least likely to participate in the workforce, the latest figures from India’s labor ministry show.

Meanwhile in rural India, women are marginally more likely to have a job – the ratio of male to female participation in the workforce is 2.6 to 1.

Here are some more findings from the survey.

39%

The proportion of women who have received vocational training were not part of the workforce in 2013/14.

Although women were not asked to give reasons in the survey, Jayan Jose Thomas, an assistant professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi and an expert on India’s labor market and industry, said women often face discrimination at work in rural and urban India, including unequal pay.

In urban India, there were also concerns for women’s safety, traveling to and from work and in the workplace. Pushing the figures higher, women who chose to be homemakers were counted as unemployed.

“When you look at the figures for women, you understand the real employment situation in India. You see a huge mismatch,” said Mr. Thomas.

Indian women’s participation in the workforce falls as their education level rises, according to research by Mr. Thomas.

Labor-force participation by women in 2009-10 showed nearly 55% of women with post-graduate level education had not joined the workforce. Most women who didn’t join the workforce said “they are attending to domestic duties.”

524 rupees

The average daily wage for a man educated beyond high school working in an Indian city. That is the equivalent of $8. For women, average earnings were 391 rupees a day.

12 million

The number of people who enter India’s workforce each year. Some argue India’s rigid labor laws, which make it harder to fire employees, may be the reason employers are reluctant to hire full-time staff but Mr. Thomas says, despite official figures showing otherwise, the growth of India’s workforce has stagnated from lack of investment in infrastructure.

Government investment in basic infrastructure, like setting up power plants, needs to take place before the country can realize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make In India” drive, which seeks to supercharge the country’s manufacturing growth, according to Mr. Thomas.

“India’s infrastructure shortage is so high that you cannot expect private investment to kick-start industrial growth. You need public sector to do the work first,” Mr. Thomas said. “Major initiative has to come from the government.”

5.5 million

Jobs created in India every year. Even though 12 million people join India’s workforce every year, the number of new jobs is much lower. Mr. Modi’s government has set a target of creating 400 million jobs by 2020 to try and narrow the gap.

6.8 %

The proportion of India’s population signing up for vocational training in the country. Among those who successfully train, a large proportion – 75% – find employment.

via India’s Labor Force – WSJ.

12/07/2015

13 Million Guangdong Migrants Could Gain Permanent Residence By 2020 – China Real Time Report – WSJ

Faced with a persistent influx of rural workers, China’s most populous province plans to allow more migrant residents to settle permanently in its cities, in its latest effort to ease decades-old curbs on rural-urban migration.

Under new guidelines published this week, Guangdong authorities aim to grant local household registration to roughly 13 million migrant workers by 2020, allowing them to access public services—spanning housing, health-care, social security and education—that are typically reserved for urban residents.

Guangdong has often taken the lead in efforts to liberalize the hukou system, a national household-registration regime that curbs rural-urban migration by tying benefits like health care and pensions to a person’s place of birth. Experts say the system forces many rural migrants to live as second-class citizens in urban areas, aggravating social inequality while fueling tensions between locals and outsiders.

Hukou reforms are a pressing matter for Guangdong, a southern Chinese manufacturing hub that hosts the country’s largest transient population. Among its roughly 110 million residents, more than 24 million are migrants from other regions, while another 10.6 million have relocated within the province.

“Reforming the household-registration system will speed up our province’s urbanization process, and facilitate the coordinated development of the Pearl River Delta region,” Peng Hui, deputy director-general of Guangdong’s public security department, told a news briefing this week.

As part of the reforms, provincial officials will aim to “equalize” the provision of public services and ensure “balanced” economic development between rural and urban areas, according to the new guidelines.

China has used the hukou system since the 1950s to keep people from moving to the cities and forming the sort of slums that plague other developing nations. In recent decades, however, rural migrants have increasingly bucked the system to seek better opportunities in urban areas, without approval to live there.

Beijing, for its part, has since changed tack and pushed to urbanize its population of nearly 1.4 billion people, of which about 45% still in live in rural areas. But experts say the government must speed up its dismantling of the hukou system, warning that social tensions could fester and even boil over in the coming decade as China’s “floating population” of more than 250 million continues to expand.

Last year, Beijing pledged some changes to the hukou system, with restrictions to be lifted first in small towns. More stringent requirements will remain on those who want to live in larger cities, which are generally more attractive to migrants.

 

Guangdong’s plan follows a similar approach. Provincial officials say they plan to “fully liberalize” settlement rules in small, county-level cities and so-called “administratively designated towns,” where migrants with legal and stable places of residence will be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

via 13 Million Guangdong Migrants Could Gain Permanent Residence By 2020 – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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