A Tough New Year for China's Migrant Workers

Workers labor at the construction site of the Tianxingzhou Yangtze River Bridge on January 31, 2009 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. China Photos/Getty Images

Like millions of other Chinese migrant workers, Zhang Pingdi left his village in central Hunan province a decade ago to find work in one of the factories in the Pearl River Delta region. He didn't have much difficulty finding work in Dongguan, a manufacturing hub north of Hong Kong, until the global economic crisis spread to China. Last year, 30-year-old Zhang was laid off from three different factories as export orders for electronics and lights dried up. Instead of heading home for Chinese New Year, Zhang decided to stay in Dongguan to get a head start on his job search this year. "I thought about going home to look for work or to start my own company, but it's not that easy where I'm from," he says.

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