When the best job Mikala Reasbeck could find after college in Boston was counting pills part-time in a drugstore for $7 an hour, she took the drastic step of jumping on a plane to Beijing in February to look for work.
A week after she started looking, the 23-year-old from Wheeling, West Virginia, had a full-time job teaching English.
"I applied for jobs all over the US There just weren't any," said Reasbeck, who speaks no Chinese but had volunteered at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In China, she said, the jobs are not so hard to find. "And there are so many."
Young foreigners like Reasbeck are coming to China to look for work in its unfamiliar but less bleak economy, driven by the worst job markets in decades in the United States, Europe and some Asian countries.
Many do basic work such as teaching English, a service in demand from Chinese businesspeople and students. But a growing number are arriving with skills and experience in computers, finance and other fields.
"China is really the land of opportunity now, compared to their home countries," said Chris Watkins, manager for China and Hong Kong of MRI China Group, a headhunting firm. "This includes college graduates as well as maybe more established businesspeople, entrepreneurs and executives from companies around the world."
Watkins said the number of resumes his company receives from abroad has tripled over the past 18 months.
China's job market has been propped up by Beijing's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus, which helped to boost growth to 7.9 percent from a year earlier in the quarter that ended June 30, up from 6.1 percent the previous quarter. The government says millions of jobs will be created this year.