Rural migrant worker number rises

CNC report from Beijing
Added On February 24, 2013

The number of citizens from rural areas working in cities is rising fast.

Official statistics show by the end of last year, rural migrant workers account for nearly one fifth of China's total population.

The National Bureau of Statistics issued a report on Friday, saying the number of rural migrant workers increased nearly 4 percent to over 262 million by the end of 2012.

That's 19.4 percent of the country's total population.

In breakdown, rural workers employed outside their hometowns rose 3 percent from a year ago, while those employed within their hometowns rose 5.4 percent.

Migrant workers have emerged along with China's fast economic expansion since China started a reform and opening-up drive more than three decades ago.

As China becomes urbanized and industrialized, huge labor demand and opportunities in cities have drawn millions to leave the countryside.

The State Council, China's cabinet, released this year's first policy document last month.

The document listed helping rural workers become urban residents as an important task for the country's urbanization.

It says China will push forward reform of its household registration system, and make it easier for rural citizens to obtain residency permits in small and medium-sized cities and small townships.

Meanwhile, the country will also make more efforts to provide professional training for migrant workers, ensure their social security and protect their rights and interests.