We’ve added a sectoral breakdown of employment from the national statistics office.
This visualisation shows the trends for various industries since the dataset’s inception almost five years ago. (We’ve also added a pie-chart column to reflect each industry’s share of total employment.) Information technology-related fields and the construction industry have seen the strongest growth in employment, with increases of 26 percent and 21 percent respectively. Agriculture and forestry and the “human health and social work” categories have been shedding workers.
We’ve added a breakdown of construction employment by province. To illustrate these datasets at a time when the property sector is under pressure, we’ve created two charts.
The first is a two-paneled visualisation that compares construction employment to the Chinese statistics’ bureau’s index of residential and non-residential real estate prices.
The top pane represents what the statistics bureau calls “cumulative” data for construction employment over calendar years; we have highlighted the third-quarter figures for a like-for-like comparison. Q3 2023 employment is down about 3 percent from a year earlier, with 1.3 million fewer people working in the industry.
The “thickest layer” for some time has been fast-growing Jiangsu province, which borders Shanghai – followed by Zhejiang and Fujian. Together, these regions account for about a third of construction employment.
The second pane reflects the slowing real-estate market. Year-on-year price growth has fallen to a 30-month low of 2.9 percent.
Our second chart takes a deeper dive into regional employment trends. It highlights the much weaker environment for construction employment, comparing both 2023 to 2013 (in the “dashboard” part of the visualisation) and the 2020s versus 2010s averages (in the right-hand numerical columns). We’ve also added a row on the real-estate index from the first chart for comparison.
The red diamonds represent the most recent year-on-year employment growth readings for each province, and the green squares represent that figure in 2013. In almost all regions, the direction of travel is to the left – to a slower or even negative growth versus a decade earlier. (Shanghai is interesting for its stagnant reading in 2013; the government was moving to cool an overheated housing market in the city at that time.)
When comparing the decades, the 2020s – with a majority of provinces posting negative year-on-year growth on average – are a starkly different environment from the 2010s.