China is preparing to roll back some job-security protections for workers to keep companies afloat as growth slows, The Wall Street Journal reports. Labor ministry officials have been consulting academics, lawyers and business representatives on ways to improve “labor-market flexibility.” This means revising a law that broadly raised employment standards when it went into effect in 2008 during an economic boom, after a unusually long debate on how to let workers better share in the country’s accumulating wealth. Now with the economy weaker, China’s Communist leaders are signaling it is time to revisit the trade-off, this time to the possible detriment of workers, to preserve overall employment levels. China is trying to transition away from an export-driven economy, but the fear is that traditional factory work will be driven out before enough jobs have been created in services and high-tech industries.
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