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China's Labor Force Is Feeling the Strain

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stressed worker at a laptop computer

Public sentiment paints a picture of a workforce under stress.

Credit: Getty Images

Once an obscure academic term, "involution" has been taking China's Internet by storm. The buzzword, referring to China's hyper-competitive work culture and crushing labor expectations, has gained traction with elite students and younger white-collar office workers, especially those in the tech industry, who feel worn-out by the competitive demands of China's 996 work culture.

Public awareness of involution has grown amid China's fraught economic recovery, suggesting the country's labor force is feeling added pressure. The term has attracted attention from the Chinese government due to the risks it poses to the country's developmental trajectory.

The wealthiest survey respondents were the most likely of any income bracket to describe China as involuted at 77%. The trend may reflect growing frustrations among the highest-paid tech workers.

From Morning Consult
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