Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Ant Tribe-Chinese College Grads Flock to Cities- Find No Jobs

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 12, 2010

Nearly 6 million chinese graduated from college this year, in their little hands they hold useless degrees that were sometimes purchased, sometimes they cheated to obtain them, and many earned. The thing they all have in common is that at present they are less then useless.
China’s unskilled laborers have seen their relative wage increase over the past ten years while the educated have seen it fall. The educated flocking to the large cities in search of employment are called the ‘ant tribe’ as they flock and settle into horrible accommodations while searching for work. Cities offer wages 3.3 times higher than their villages, so they take the chance, come to Bejing.
I know of recent grads who have been forced to go back home, they cant find work.. What typically happens is that they stay in Bejing for a while, pay up to 2500 RMB or 350U$ for a 15 meter room in an apartment, and then cannot find work. Upon not finding it , some turn to KTV work or prostitution or are forced to go home (nearly 100,000 of them flocked to Beijing this year alone). For those who stay, they are rewarded with little to no pay and 6 day work weaks. This is a potential source of instability in China.

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