Migrant workers in China - Statistics & Facts

The rural workforce in China surged to 261.6 million as of 2012. The number of migrant workers who left the countryside in search for jobs in cities reached 163.36 million, accounting for 12.6 percent of China's total population.


Regarding the migrant laborer or “floating population” demographics, 66.4 percent were males. Nearly 37 percent of the workers were aged between 16 and 30 years and 62 percent had graduated from middle school.

In terms of income, urban disposable income was 3.13 times that of rural income. A migrant worker earned on average 2,290 yuan a month ($370). The transport industry paid workers best with an average of 2,735 yuan ($442) a month, while the household service sector (including housekeepers, cooks, masseurs, cleaners or car washers) paid the lowest with an average of 2,058 yuan ($333) a month. The manufacturing industry employed 35.7 percent of migrant laborers, followed by the construction industry with 18.4 percent, and the service sector with 12.2 percent.

Nearly 44 percent of migrant workers singed a labor contract. With 25 percent of the total migrant workforce on construction sites having signed a labor contract, workers in the construction industry were the least likely to have done so.

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