Number of Employed Persons by Economic Sector (in million)

Source: National Bureau of Statistics (2005): China Statistical Yearbook, 2005. Beijing. Table 5-2.

Since 1978 the total number of employed persons in China increased from about 400 to 768 million. (There was obviously some change in the definition of employment between 1989 and 1990, when the number of employed persons jumped by almost 100 million - from 557 to 653 million.
Employment in the primary industries, such as agriculture and mining, and in secondary industries (such as iron and steel production, manufacturing, construction, etc.) remained almost constant since 1995. However, the number of employed persons in service industries increased rapidly - from only 48 million in 1978 to 230 million in 2004. Today, in China more people are working in the service sector, than in manufacturing and heavy industries. This indicates that China's rapid economic transformation from an agricultural to an industrial society is already succeeded by the transition to a service-oriented economy.

Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 30 Sept. 2012