China is pulling all the stops to keep the economy growing by at least 8 percent, a pace considered necessary to absorb millions of migrant workers and graduates that hit the job market every year.
Ironically, with all its attention focused on the vigorous “defense of the eight”, Beijing risks losing sight of its ultimate goal — creating enough jobs to preserve social peace — and may end up engineering a jobless recovery.
Not only the rate of growth is important, but also its sources. Expansion led by capital-intensive industries will not be as effective in creating jobs as one driven by more labor-intensive sectors.
Statistics of the past three decades show that with the focus on investment, rise of heavy industries and China’s wish to move up the value chain, more and more economic growth has been needed to create the same number of jobs.