Tags: China | fertility | workforce | china | labor | growth

China's Baby Drain Raises Concern of Shrinking Labor Force

a new born baby is having his stats taken
A new born baby at a hospital in Fuyang in China's eastern Anhui province. -(TR/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 28 February 2021 12:15 PM

While China is turning the corner on the coronavirus pandemic, a shrinking workforce might ultimately keep the once rapidly growing economy from catching the U.S. as the world's economic leader.

Amid a baby drain in China, some localities are weighing permitting families to have a third baby, just years after it was raised from one to two, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"The low fertility in China is here, is real and will continue," University of North Carolina sociologist Cai Yong told the Journal.

Births in 20 Chinese cities declined 24% in the first 10 months of 2020, according to a Credit Suisse report, which says will "foreshadow rising pressure on policy makers to remove remaining family-planning controls and switch to proactively support the birthrate."

Rapidly improving automation is one thing the technological power is banking on to overcome the shrinking workforce, but the lining up competing dynamics will be a difficult, according to Brookings Institution economist David Dollar.

"It's going to be difficult to coordinate the actual changes in automation with the declines of the labor force," Dollar told the Journal.

China abolished its one-child policy in 2013, seeing population growth slow, but as the number of obstetrics-and-gynecology hospitals increased in 2016, they have struggled to fill, according to the report. Also, births have declined in China every year since '16, per National Health Commission data.

"Over the coming years, births will probably keep dropping," demographer He Yafu told the Journal.

Even with the allowance of two babies, the pandemic and economics are keeping families in China from expanding.

"We were hesitating for years," Li Yiyi, a 32-year-old mother of a 3-year-old told the Journal about the prospect of another child. "I think we've finally made up our mind: One is enough."

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While China is turning the corner on the coronavirus pandemic, a shrinking workforce might ultimately keep the once rapidly growing economy from catching the U.S. as the world's economic leader....
fertility, workforce, china, labor, growth
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2021-15-28
Sunday, 28 February 2021 12:15 PM
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