Xin Meng of the Australian National University appears to refute the “demographic dividend” as an explanation for China’s economic success. Her analysis showed that between 1982 and 2015 China’s working-age population, defined as those aged between 16 and 65, grew from 600m to 1bn. During this same period, however, labour-force participation dropped from 85% to just over 70%. Much of the decline came from those with an urban hukou. Unlike holders of rural hukou, urbanites were subjected to mandatory retirement at the age of 55 for women and 65 for men. Compulsory education and greater university enrolment kept under-25s out of the workforce.
- Date Posted:
- September 19, 2023
The pandemic led to a surge in new business formations. What is striking to us is that this elevated level has continued post-Covid. According to data from the Census Bureau, in July, high-propensity business applications, which include all those that are more likely to become businesses with a payroll, were 40% higher than the average level in 2019. While not all of these businesses survive (the number of business deaths also rose in 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), the net impact still points to strong growth in business formation. Business applications each year seem to be driven by a different sector. At the start of the pandemic, retail trade saw the biggest surge, driven largely by the growing demand for e-commerce, according to commentaries from the Census Bureau.