- China - financial crisis - poverty - unemployment
In the shadows of Beijing’s towering skyscrapers, hundreds of migrant workers line the streets looking for work.
The key to China’s explosive growth over the last decade, more than 20 million now find themselves unemployed, because of the financial crisis.
The majority worked in factories in the country’s industrial heartland in the south… Most have returned to their families in the country to ride out the storm. But others are finding their way to the capital in a desperate hunt for jobs.
“I have been in Beijing for nearly a month and I still haven’t found work.” Wu Laijin from Heilongjiang province in China’s northeast tells us.
These workers advertise their trades on pieces of cardboard. Workman, miner, security guard, but jobs are scarce and most spend the day waiting in vain for a car to pull up with an employer offering work. And even if they are lucky enough to get something, there are other obstacles to be overcome.
“I was working for this guy for eight days and he paid me about 10 euros and asked me to come back to get the rest of the money on the 20th, which was yesterday.” Wang Bingtao explains to us. “I went to get my money yesterday, and he told me he didn’t have it and I should come back later.”
Many of those coming to Beijing to look for work end up in an area of the capital called the Migrants Village, which has employment opportunities of its own. Ping Zhang works as a scribe. People pay him to produce their makeshift resumes. And when work is slow, Ping keeps himself amused by writing slogans like “Take care of the elderly” and “I love work”.