A woman works at a workshop of a poverty relief relocation site in Zhenxiong county, Southwest China's Yunnan province, Nov 13, 2020. (Photo/Xinhua)
An increasing number of people who participated in State-sponsored mass relocation projects, aimed at curbing some of China's most entrenched poverty, have landed jobs near their new homes, with their income rising much faster than the average for rural residents nationwide, authorities said.
The employment rate of the 9.6 million people who moved out of their isolated hometowns to live closer to factories and schools during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) period, as part of the nation's sweeping poverty-alleviation drive, reached 94.46 percent by the end of 2022, up 2.54 percentage points year-on-year, Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.
Quoting an unnamed official from the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, the report said that of the 5.03 million relocated farmers who are of working age — between 16 and 59 years old — 4.76 million were employed as of the end of last year.
This means that almost all relocated families have at least one earning member, the official said, adding that since 2021, local authorities have attached great significance to supporting the migrants through policy measures, which effectively consolidated the country's achievements in poverty alleviation and also accelerated rural vitalization.
The NDRC official said that salaries and wages account for nearly 80 percent of the total income of the migrant families and, therefore, helping such groups find employment is considered a priority.
A total of 25,400 supportive projects, ranging from farm produce processing bases and schools to hospitals and clinics, have been built around the new homes of the relocated families, according to the report.
Mass relocations have been used as an effective means of alleviating poverty in China since the early 1980s, when residents in water-deficient areas in Gansu province and the Ningxia Hui autonomous region moved en masse in search of better dwellings.
The NDRC earmarked 36.3 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) between 2001 and 2015 to support the relocation projects, which benefited more than 6.8 million impoverished rural residents.