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US trade war has cost China ‘almost 2 million industrial jobs’, investment bank CICC says

July 25, 2019

Editor’s note: Tariffs work.

  • Total losses of 5 million represent 3.4 per cent of total employment in the sector, according to China International Capital Corp
  • Total is equal to 0.7 per cent of China’s overall labour force, but excludes the effects of May’s US tariff increases on US$200 billion of Chinese goods

[Frank Tang | July 24, 2019 | SCMP]

China’s industrial sector has lost 5 million jobs in the last year, including 1.8 to 1.9 million jobs because of the trade war with the United States, a leading Chinese investment bank estimated on Wednesday.

The total job losses represent 3.4 per cent of total employment in the industrial sector, which includes mining, manufacturing and public utilities, and 0.7 per cent of total national employment, said China International Capital Corp (CICC) economists Liang Hong and Yi Huan.

The decline in employment from July 2018 to May 2019 was not only due to the effects of the trade war, but also to domestic structural adjustments and cyclical factors, the analysis showed.

The report gives a more downbeat picture of the nation’s labour market than the government’s narrative, which terms the job marketplace “stable overall”.

Other researchers and economists from the Bank of Communications and Haitong Securities estimated that the trade war has so far cost China between 700,000 and 1.2 million jobs.

CICC’s research did not factor in the effect of tariff increases of 10 to 25 per cent on US$200 billion of Chinese imports, which came into force in May.


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