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Jobs grow at steady pace during Q1-3

By Jiang Chenglong | China Daily | Updated: 2018-10-26 08:57
Job seekers speak with employers at Hefei University in Hefei, Anhui province, on Saturday at the sixth national autumn roving job fair for college graduates. ZHANG DUAN/XINHUA

China's employment market saw stable growth from January to September, as more jobs were created and the unemployment rate fell, according to China's top human resources and statistics authorities.

More than 11 million new urban jobs were offered from January to September, up 100,000 from the same period a year ago, according to a statement from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

In addition, the national surveyed urban unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in September, down by 0.1 percentage point from August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Mao Shengyong, spokesman for the NBS, said the number of newly created jobs in urban areas met the year's annual employment target three months early.

"It shows that the country's employment situation has developed smoothly and steadily," said Feng Xiliang, director of the School of Labor and Economics at Capital University of Economics and Business.

Starting in April this year, the NBS has regularly released the monthly surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas to help the government improve macro control and provide information for formulating employment policies.

The surveyed rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed respondents to the survey in urban areas, including migrant workers in cities.

The metric was used to reflect the job market and serve as a supplement to the registered urban unemployment rate.

The ministry said that from January to August, the ratio of jobs to job hunters in 11 provinces, including Jiangsu and Guangdong, was 1.21-to-1, a rise of 0.02 jobs per worker over the same period last year, indicating the number of jobs was greater than the number of job hunters.

"The employment situation mostly relies on the country's economic situation, which has been stable," Feng said. "There will be more than 1 million new jobs created when the GDP growth rate rises by 1 percentage point."

According to the NBS, China's GDP has grown 6.7 percent from January to September.

Yang Yiyong, director of the Society Development Institute, part of the National Development and Reform Commission, said that better economic growth means more business and more orders for companies. And that requires more factories and machines to do the work, which results in greater demand for workers, he said.

The Chinese government has issued a series of policies to promote employment recently, which experts say have had a positive effect.

In May, the State Council enlarged the existing vocational training system to a lifelong system in which working ability, startup skills and training allowance can be accessible to current and potential skilled workers during their studies and careers, especially university graduates, migrant workers and laid-off workers in industries with overcapacity.

In addition, the ministry issued an action plan in September, aiming to make registered impoverished workers and middle school dropouts eligible for vocational training by the end of 2020.

"The government strongly boosted vocational education for workers, which can help them adapt to society's pattern of development," Feng said.

At the same time, he said, there has been a clear trend of more university students joining startup businesses. According to the ministry, there were 324,000 university students starting businesses in the first half of this year, increasing by 10.6 percent year-on-year.

About 75 percent of them worked in industries such as IT, accommodation and catering, and science research and technical services, the ministry said.

"The fact that more young people started businesses would encourage the whole of society to make innovations, which is quite important for economic growth," Feng said. "New economic growth points mostly rely on all-around technology and product innovations.

"And with the technology's rapid growth, the majority of those young entrepreneurs would like to utilize more new IT technologies to offer services."

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