Southern China to shed millions of jobs as economic crisis bites

DONGGUAN, China (AFP) — At least 2.7 million factory workers in southern China could lose their jobs as the global economic crisis hits demand for electronics, toys and clothes, according to industry estimates.

The region has seen massive export-driven expansion in recent years by supplying the world with cheap consumer goods, but rising production costs and falling US and European demand have marked a swift end to the boom.

Now 9,000 of the 45,000 factories in the cities of Guangzhou, Dongguan, and Shenzhen are expected to close before the Chinese New Year in late January, the Dongguan City Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment estimates.

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