BEIJING — China will have an abundant labor force for decades to come, though its overall quality needs to be improved, said a senior official with the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on Jan 11.
Wang Pei’an, deputy head of the NHFPC, said at a press conference that in 2015, China had a labor force of one billion, which is expected to slip slightly to 958 million in 2030.
According to the official, the labor force is estimated at around 827 million for 2050.
Therefore, the challenge for the nation in the next few decades lies not in the size of the labor force but in its quality, said Wang.
Wang highlighted the nation’s need to allow all couples to have two children.
The new family planning law took effect on Jan 1, ending the one-child policy that had been in place for decades.
He said the timing for the new policy is good, considering the trend of a declining labor force, and rising demographic dependency ratio, which rose from 34.2 in 2010 to 36.2 in 2014, in addition to the population of child-bearing women, which has dropped from the peak of 380 million in 2011.