The number of rural migrant workers working locally has risen by 26% over the past seven years. According to Caixin, as regional wage gaps narrow, migrant workers are giving more consideration to their children’s education and to health care for elderly relatives when choosing where to work. The number of short-distance migrants, traveling close to home and often with their hukou registration, increased 3.4%, or by 3.7 million, in 2016 to 112 million from 2015, while the number of long-distance migrants rose only 0.3%, down from a 0.4% increase in 2015 to stand at 169 million, according to the latest annual survey of migrant workers published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) last week. The survey also found that the number of rural laborers working in China’s cities rose by 1.5%, or 4.2 million year-on-year in 2016, to reach 282 million, 36% of China’s total workforce of 776 million.
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