The essay elaborates some statistics about world’s industrial labour force (including building activities and energy suppliers) and underlines its growing concentration in developing countries and particularly in China and India. The overall effect is a global re-equilibrium between demographic and economic weight, which comes to close in a foreseeable future the historical parenthesis of Western industrial (and colonial) predominance. The bad news for the West is an unknown shortage of industrial employment which cannot be overcome by the current tendency toward part-time and temporary occupations. On the contrary, the only way out is a gradual shift from low-skill manufacturing jobs in favour of high-skill advanced service jobs.
Keywords: Labour, labour market, job tenure, globalization, China, India, emerging economies