Unemployment in China

In the workers' paradise bequeathed by Mao unto the global proletariat, unemployment is on the rise.  Keeping people occupied in Communist China's (or any) totalitarian state is the only way to avoid trouble, and The Times of India reports:

BEIJING: Chinese leaders have finally admitted that the country is facing a "grim" situation on the employment front owing to the global economic crisis. An official survey has shown that demand for labour has fallen 5.5% in the third quarter of this year across 84 different cities.

Yin Weimin, head of the ministry of human resources said that labour discontent was a "top concern" of the government as the employment situation has turned "grim".

The government is clearly worried that unrest among jobless workers would result in protest demonstrations and unruly scenes. The past weeks have seen strikes by taxi drivers in four cities and a workers' riot at the party headquarters in Gansu province.

China has nearly 150 million migrant workers, who have left their rural homes in central and west China to work in the factories of South China. The extent of unemployment caused in factories cutting back production following loss of export orders is still not known. But the number might prove to be big enough to cause social tension, sources said.

In China "demonstrations and unruly scenes" and "social tension" have a different meaning when the population is over a billion, and control over the citizenry is a necessity:

Civil unrest in China is a growing problem that the government is trying to hide. Mobs attacking the police, or government buildings, is an increasingly common event. The news gets out via the Internet, not the government controlled media.

China's financial problems are no different than any other nation's.  But if the unemployed start dealing in some serious ‘social discord', it'll be interesting to see how forceful, and how far, Beijing will, and might go, to keep order with an increasingly unemployed and restless population.

Thomas Lifson comments: The leadership has good reason to fear popular unrest. There are tens of thousands incidents a year, almost none of which make it to the foreign press. And the trend was increasing even prior to the current economic peril. China's government has a strong but brittle hold on power, and they know. Their regime came to power by pushing aside another.