Research Briefing | Jul 11, 2023

Robust city office jobs growth offsets labour market weakness in China

Robust city office jobs growth offsets labour market weakness in China

China’s major cities will be primary drivers of office-based employment growth over the next five years, with 15 of the largest cities set to create more than a third of all new office jobs across the country. That is happening at a time when China’s overall level of employment has entered a period of long-term structural decline as the country grapples with its deteriorating demographics. The rise of office-based jobs is part of the country’s pivot into a more services-led economy.

What you will learn:

  • In the five years to 2027, total employment in China overall is set to fall on average by 0.2% per year, whereas employment in office-based sectors is forecast to rise by 2.6%.
  • The country’s major tech and finance cities such as Hangzhou, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, lead the growth rankings of office-based employment. In growth terms, Shanghai and Beijing are weaker, but given their overall size, they are still expected to generate a high number of office-based jobs. Overall employment in those cities, however, is likely to fall given job losses in industrial sectors and the constraints on labour force growth applied by each city’s population caps.
  • Some of China’s leading western and central cities, such as Xi’an, are forecast to compete with the country’s other major cities in terms of growth in office-based employment over the next five years as they grow in stature in higher-value services. 
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