In China, the number of births is declining, which can also negatively affect the labor force
According to official data the number of babies born in China fell again last year, adding to the pressure on the Communist Party's ambitions to increase national wealth and labor that has been declining for a decade.
About 10.6 million babies were born in 2021 according to the National Bureau of Statistics, about 12% less than the 12 million reported for 2020.
Declining birth rates may reduce the ruling party's plans to develop technology and self-sustaining economic growth based on consumer spending rather than exports and investment.
The declining population growth has prompted warnings that China, where economic output per capita is below the global average, could face a "demographic time bomb" and have very few workers, while the number of older people is rising. the elderly.
The ruling party has imposed restrictions on the permissible number of births in a family since 1980 to curb population growth. But leaders began to worry as the working-age population peaked at 925 million in 2011 and began to decline earlier than expected.
Authorities eased birth restrictions starting in 2015. But couples find themselves in difficulty from high costs, inability to live and discrimination at work against mothers.
Demographers say the proportion of the working age population could fall by half by 2050.
The labor shortage comes as President Xi Jinping's government has increased spending on the military and efforts to be a strong global competitor in the field of electric cars and other technologies.