The United States, along with many Western nations, have struggled through the economic decline with high unemployment, although it has improved in the last 5 years. The United States currently has an unemployment rate of 4.9% , Greece has an unemployment rate of 23.5%, the United Kingdom is at 4.9%. With these staggering numbers, many people are beginning to look outside their nation’s borders for alternative opportunities.
China, one of the BRIC nations, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world with an unemployment rate of only 4.0%. China’s growth in the last year was 6.7% compared to the United State’s growth of only 1.6% and the Euro area of 1.7%. It is no surprise that an increasing amount of expats are considering the move to China. While the United States outnumbers Europeans living in China, recently there has been an increase in the number of Europeans choosing to move to China.
According to the official data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security in China, there was a 4% increase in the number of expats moving to China over the last year to a new total of 231,700. With so many open doors do to growth and expansion, expats that move to China will have the opportunity to get higher level jobs with either local or international companies.
Currently, many expats have seen an increase in demand for the financial services, retail, and pharmaceutical industries. Local Chinese firms are looking to hire expats with talent to help with international expansion. International companies are looking for expats that have an understanding of the international climate, the ability to speak English (and Mandarin!), and assistance in bridging cultures.
While the jobs will ultimately depend on experience and company-fit, the top jobs in China are teachers, CEOs, managers, engineers and consultants. Approximately 85% of the expat workforce is employed by foreign-invested companies compared to local Chinese firms. Those expats working for local companies work primarily in technical fields such as engineers or managers in high-tech manufacturing. Otherwise, approximately 40% of positions are in sales and marketing, 20% is in engineering, 10% in management (including in accounting and finance), and IT is only 5%.