Informal Employment and Social Exclusion Among Young Rural-Urban Migrant Workers in China

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 5A G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Steven Sek-yum NGAI, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
This study investigates informal employment and social exclusion among young rural-urban migrant workers in China. Based on interviews conducted in Hangzhou, China, the study found that the deprivation of rights for social protection among these workers during the informal employment process is a result of total and structural surplus in the Chinese labor market. Such exclusion is further intensified by systemic problems in the social insurance system and by problems in its regulation and implementation. Based on these results, this paper argues that the social exclusion of young rural-urban migrant workers in China is different from the new poverty in the West: it is intake exclusion within the labor market in the context of globalization. In China’s present socio-economic environment, informal employment, which has resulted in the social exclusion of this population, still has a positive effect on both rural-urban migrant workers and the wider society. As a result, measures that address the problem of social exclusion should also place more emphasis on the development of the social insurance system and the use of investment policies, including human capital investment, to facilitate the empowerment of the target group and achieve the goal of social insurance for all.