PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2013, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (3): 389-399.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2013.03.008

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Vulnerability of migrant workers'livelihoods in Hangzhou City and the countermeasures

SU Fei, MA Lisha, PANG Lingfeng, ZHAO Xiufang, PAN Yunxin   

  1. School of Tourism & City Management, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou 310018, China
  • Received:2012-08-01 Revised:2012-11-01 Online:2013-03-25 Published:2013-03-25

Abstract: Migrant workers are one of the low status groups in big cities in China, easily struck by job loss, work-related accident, adverse economic conditions, and other social hazards; their livelihoods have increasingly become a critical issue affecting the national economy and livelihoods of the whole population during the socio-economic transition. From the vulnerability perspective, we established an index system to evaluate the livelihood assets based on the characteristics of migrant workers' livelihoods, and analyzed the vulnerability of their livelihoods in Hangzhou City. The results indicate that the livelihood assets of migrant workers in Hangzhou are showing typical characteristics of vulnerability, manifested by lack of education and training, shortage of human capital, prevalent low-quality rental housing, weakness of physical capital, low incomes, deprivation of financial capital, strong sense of being marginalized, and deficiency of social capital. Furthermore, we explored the applicability of the analysis framework of sustainable livelihoods to the studies of the issues of migrant workers' livelihoods in big cities. Based on the empirical analysis mentioned above, we put forward countermeasures and regulations in order to increase the migrant workers' livelihood assets and reduce their vulnerability, which provides a scientific reference and a practical example for the studies of sustainable livelihoods of migrant workers in Hangzhou and other major cities in China.

Key words: Hangzhou City, livelihood capital, migrant workers, sustainable livelihoods, vulnerability analysis