One quarter of the population of southwest China's Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality work away from their homes as migrant workers. But the number has been dropping this year.
With the arrival of spring, 24 year-old Gu Qingxia, together with her husband, came to a job fair in Chongqing. The wife and husband have been working as a cashier and security guard in Guangzhou for 3 years. But this year, they're searching for jobs in Chongqing, only 65 kilometers away from Gu's hometown.
Gu's husband said, "Our parents are getting old and sick. I want to come back to take care of them."
This year, the number of migrant workers, like Gu and her husband who choose to return home for work is increasing. Most of them are coming back for their families.
They don't want to look forward to every Spring Festival to reunite with their parents and children any more, but to take care of them whenever they want. And they are tired of queuing days and nights for a ticket back home during the travel rush.
Besides family, there are other reasons to attract migrant workers back to their hometowns.
A migrant worker said, "Of course the salary is a bit higher in Shenzhen than in Chongqing. But living costs are low here, so I can save more money."
Every year, Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality output a large percentage of migrant workers. They find jobs in cities far away from their hometowns to earn a better living. However, in recent years, with rapid development of southwestern China, a large number of employment opportunities have been given to migrant workers.
In order to attract migrant workers coming back to their hometowns, millions of public rental apartments have been built for anyone who found jobs in Chongqing, but nowhere to live. The rent is 11 yuan ($1.7) per square meter, which is 60% cheaper than local's average price.
(CNTV.cn March 5, 2012)