Up to 41 million workers in China have lost their jobs in the global economic downturn and 23 million remain out of work, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The layoffs far exceed government estimates, CASS said. Last month the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said that just 16.5 million people had lost their jobs due to the downturn: 9 million urban residents, 3 million college graduates and 4.5 million rural migrant workers. Many of the layoffs were triggered by collapse of the export sector at the end of 2008. CASS estimated that approximately 40% of the global redundancies from the downturn were in China. It added that Beijing did not make employment a priority in its US$586 billion stimulus the package. The current focus on infrastructure projects is expected to create 51.35 million jobs. However, if the stimulus package was reorganized to make employment a priority, it could create up to 72.36 million jobs.
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