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BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- NBA players may soon follow the lead of a growing number of Americans looking for work in China.
With the upcoming basketball season jeopardized by an expiring collective bargaining agreement, several NBA superstars -- among them Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony -- have said they would consider playing for Chinese teams, which have been growing an increasingly rabid fan base.
While unemployment lingers in the U.S., some are looking to China for work.
In looking for opportunities in the so-called Middle Kingdom, the players are not much different than others turning to China for job prospects.
Put simply, there are at least jobs to be had. Unlike the U.S, with near double-digit unemployment, there is great demand in China for skilled professions such as banking and finance. That demand shows little sign of slowing, bolstered by the fact the country had 10% growth last year and will experience nearly the same rate this year.
There has traditionally been demand for English-language teachers in China, a job niche that typically attracts young graduates enticed by the prospects of living abroad. Now U.S. companies are looking to move top managers into Chinese territories, and executives have found themselves forced to relocate. Recently,
General Electric(GE - Get Report) moved the headquarters for its X-ray division and top division executives to China to capitalize on growth in the Asian marketplace.
Entrepreneurs are also enticed by lower taxes, decreased regulation, cheap labor and a pipeline into the massive Asian marketplace, while Chinese companies are looking to expand globally by building their U.S. brain trust.
An exact count of how many Americans are working in China is not readily available, as neither country has a uniform process for registering such employment status.
UniGroup Worldwide, an international mover of household goods with headquarters in St. Louis and Amsterdam, used its own shipping business to gauge the trend. It found a 46.7% increase in the number of American's relocating to China for work over the past three years.
Its international migration study, released last week, was based on more than 15,000 household goods moves completed in 2010 for major corporations. In the U.S., UniGroup is affiliated with Mayflower Transit and United Van Lines.