China Trumpets Its Service Economy

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IEMS Director Albert Park was interviewed by Bloomberg Businessweek on how China’s employment growth has become increasingly concentrated in the service sector, and how the vast majority of these new jobs are neither highly-skilled nor highly-paid.

The article looked into the mainland service economy, saying that it has a long way to go before it resembles the US economy, which derives almost 80 percent of GDP from services. In mainland service economy, the fastest growth has been in low-end jobs in retail, restaurants, hotels, and real estate. However, Finance’s share has fallen, according to Professor Albert Park, Department of Economics. The higher-skilled sectors—telecoms, information technology, computers, finance, and business services—are still not a large share of the total service industry, while some are growing, but aren’t growing very quickly, he said.

As quoted in the article:

China’s service sector now employs more than 300 million people, the largest share of the country’s 775 million workers. The fastest growth has been in low-end jobs in retail, restaurants, hotels, and real estate. Over the last five years, education and government jobs, most of which are filled by college graduates, have fallen from a little less than half of total service employment to a third or so. Finance’s share has also fallen, says Albert Park, Professor of Economics at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. “The higher-skilled sectors—telecoms, information technology, computers, finance, and business services—are still not a large share of the total service industry,” he says. “And while some are growing, they aren’t growing very quickly.”

Read the full article here: Bloomberg Businessweek published on January 29, 2016. 

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