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China shifts axed miners to jobs in farming, forestry

While the move may keep unemployment rates under check, it could also mean a step down in quality of living, reduced spending power

Shuangyashan, China

ANTICIPATING millions of layoffs from bloated state-owned coal and steel companies, Chinese authorities are shunting redundant workers into jobs in farming, forestry and public services.

While this may keep unemployment rates under check, such jobs generally pay less, and could mean a step down in the quality of living, reduced spending power and potentially increased dissatisfaction.

At the recent annual session of Parliament, China's leaders stressed that a major restructuring of the economy, stripping out excess industrial capacity, would not mean a corresponding spike in jobless rates. The government has earmarked 100 billion yuan (S$21 billion) for relocating and retraining...

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