China is set to dominate global manufacturing jobs by 2050, surpassing US and EU dependency, according to a study by the Washington-based Center for Global Development. The study reveals that China’s share of manufacturing jobs will rise to 43% of the total by 2050, making it one of the few countries to experience growth in this sector during that period.
This projection comes at a time when major Western economies are reevaluating their reliance on China for goods, especially after witnessing bottlenecks in global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Delays and price increases caused by these disruptions have triggered inflation, which continues to impact the global economy. Consequently, both the United States and the European Union have implemented risk-reduction strategies to reduce their dependence on China.
The United States, in particular, is keen on limiting China’s advancements in cutting-edge technologies, such as semiconductors essential for artificial intelligence development. However, despite these efforts, the study suggests that China’s manufacturing dominance will persist.
On the other hand, high-income countries are expected to see a decline in manufacturing jobs, falling from 11.4% to 8.3% of the workforce by 2050. Meanwhile, low-income countries anticipate a shift from agricultural jobs to the service sector, rather than a substantial transition in industrial employment.
Ranil Dissanayake, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and co-author of the study, states that this does not mean that poor countries will be unable to escape poverty. He points out that new technologies and the ease of delivering services across borders can be transformative.
The study was conducted based on the projections of 59 countries, representing approximately 75% of global GDP.
It is evident that China’s manufacturing dominance will persist and even grow stronger by 2050, despite efforts by Western economies to reduce their dependency. While this presents challenges for these countries, particularly in terms of supply chain vulnerabilities and technological advancements, there is also the potential for poorer nations to enhance their economies through new technologies and the service sector. As the world seeks to navigate the changing landscape, it is crucial for countries to adapt and explore opportunities for sustainable growth.