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Submitted by Joe on
David, I think the analysis is valid and expanding the breadth and scope of social safety nets is vital especially in times of financial crises. However, I'm curious as to which measures you believe would be most effective for the migrant workers as they have little in existing safety nets. Would it expanding health benefits to cover them when they're in urban areas, reducing the cost of urban schools for those without a local hukou or setting up some type of unemployment benefit fund? I've also heard the 20 million figure on a number of occasions but I believe the figure to be a bit more nuanced. Workers that lose their jobs may return to farming on a scale that we haven't seen before. According to the Statistics Bureau for their 2008 end of the year migrant labor survey: Approximately 70 million, or 50 percent of the migrant workers outside the boundaries of their local township, returned home for Chinese New Year. 80 percent of them have now re-entered the cities, with the remaining 20 percent, or 14 million nongmingong, choosing to stay at home to farm the land or seek out other forms of employment. Of those who have returned to the city, 45 million have already found work and 11 million are still searching. Thanks