February 21, 2011 / 6:25 PM / 8 years ago

China's young migrant workers mobile, ambitious - survey

Job seekers are interviewed at a job fair at Longguan Human Resources Market in China's southern city of Shenzhen September 16,2009. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/Files

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s new generation of migrant workers is more ambitious, quicker to quit jobs and less likely to return to farming than their parents, according to an official survey released on Monday.

People born after 1980 account for about 60 percent of China’s 240 million migrant workers, and their changing habits and aspirations will help determine the development of the country’s manufacturing sector and broader economy.

Young Chinese migrant workers earn an average 1,747.87 Chinese yuan ($277) a month, about half the average urban salary, but with high expectations for personal development, according to the survey by the All China Federation of Trade Unions.

They are likely to change jobs three times as frequently as their parents, the survey found.

They also have far less experience in farming than their parents, according to the survey, an indication that they will choose to remain in urban areas even if they cannot obtain the residency permits required to obtain the full range of social benefits.

As a way of accommodating this movement, the trade union recommended that the government allow at least 4 million young migrant workers to settle permanently in cities every year.

Of the 2,711 respondents, 74 percent worked in manufacturing, 84 percent were employed in the private sector and 76 percent were based in coastal areas.

(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Simon Rabinovitch; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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