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December 26, 2009

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A changing China: 44% work for private firms

China's private enterprises account for almost half of its employed population, according to the country's second national economic census.

A total of 52 million employees were working in private enterprises by the end of 2008. That's 44 percent of all employees in the country.

State-owned companies provided only 9 percent of the jobs in the country.

The remainder of the work force was hired by foreign-invested companies, joint-venture firms and other businesses.

The number of private enterprises rose 81 percent, to 1.47 million, by the end of 2008 compared to 2004, when the first national economic census was conducted, the National Bureau of Statistics said yesterday.

The second national economic census, announced yesterday, has caused statisticians to revise the country's gross domestic product for 2008 to 31.4 trillion yuan (US$4.6 trillion). That's 1.34 trillion yuan more than previously reported, and mainly reflects a bigger contribution of service industries, the statistics bureau said.

The new census picture shows the 2008 GDP growth rate at 9.6 percent. The rate was previously reported as 9 percent.

"The result is derived from a blanket investigation into China's various industries, even including the equipment used by highly energy-consuming industry," said Ma Jiantang, the bureau director.

"It can help to paint an overall picture of China's economic status," he said.

Bureau officials said the revision will have little effect on this year's growth estimate of at least 8 percent.

The census of business showed that the total number of corporate units rose almost 53 percent to reach almost 5 million. At the same time, the number of state-owned enterprises fell 20 percent.

The statistics bureau chief told a press conference that the results showed that criticisms of dwindling private businesses are groundless.

The census showed that the output of China's service sector reached 13.1 trillion yuan in 2008, up from a previously calculated 12 trillion yuan, said Ma.

The production of agricultural and manufacturing sectors remained largely unchanged.

The second national economic census started in October last year to gather basic information of all industrial and service-sector entities active in 2008. The census is conducted every five years.


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