According to the latest Zhaopin survey, state-owned enterprises are the places most students want to work, while only 17.4% want to work in private companies.
In the next few weeks, the Chinese labor market will see a record number of graduates of 10.8 million. Finding employment opportunities for graduate students is a headache for the Chinese government, which is struggling to deal with outbreaks of the disease.
The outlook for this sector is considered quite bleak. Some universities in China are even urging final-year students to postpone their graduation. The students told Caixin news agency that they have not been approved by the university to defend their thesis unless they find a job. Meanwhile, some students have opted for self-employment in order to earn a diploma. According to online recruitment website Zhaopin, as of April, less than a quarter of Chinese graduates had received job offers.
According to Bloomberg, state-funded universities are struggling. In May, China’s urban student unemployment rate hit a record high of 18.4%. Estimates from Bank of America Merrill Lynch show that, by July, the peak of graduation season, that number could be as high as 23%. Therefore, Chinese universities are trying to defuse the situation. In general, the blockades aimed at controlling the pandemic also put a lot of pressure on the youth unemployment rate.
In China, more and more students want to work in government agencies after graduating from school. According to the latest Zhaopin survey, state-owned enterprises are the places most students want to work, while only 17.4% want to work in private companies.
According to experts, the employment outlook in China is even worse than when the Covid-19 epidemic broke out in early 2020. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the urban unemployment rate has increased by 0, 3 percentage points to 6.1% in April, the highest level since March 2020. In the first three months of this year, more than 60% of Chinese graduates said they were facing stiff competition. According to Zhaopin’s survey, about 55% decreased their expectations of their employment.
In the past, high-paying industries – such as technology and education – were often favored by good students. These sectors also employ tens of millions of young people, despite criticism for a toxic work culture and discrimination against older job seekers. Now, many young Chinese are flocking to state jobs, which are seen as more stable and with more benefits.
However, this is what makes it difficult for the Chinese government. Since the late 1990s, state-owned enterprises have cut back on recruitment, as the number of urban workers halved to around 55 million. In addition, government jobs are also highly desired, but the number of new hires remains stable at about 170,000 people per year.
Over the past decade, the private sector has been China’s largest employer, with about 150 million urban workers. Cities in the mainland have more than 110 million people self-employed, this is the group working with part-time contracts, odd jobs and in the sharing economy. A few make money by becoming influencers on social networking platforms.
In a clear sign of how difficult it is for workers to find jobs in the city, Yunnan province recently offered new university graduates an annual stipend of 50,000 yuan. (7,464)/person to return to work in the villages. This allowance is not small, when the above figure is equivalent to 5 months of starting salary for graduates of elite schools such as Tsinghua University.
The average monthly salary in China in 38 major cities was 10,014 yuan ($1,502) in the first quarter of 2022, down 1% year-on-year and up 10.5% year-on-year in 2020. According to Zhaopin , the average monthly salary for bachelor’s degree holders rose 1.8% year-on-year to 12,033 yuan.
Two years ago, China’s job market recovered quickly when the pandemic was brought under control. At that time, the impact of the epidemic on the economy was still not too great because only the small area around Wuhan was affected. Within 3 months, people’s lives were back to normal.
The current job market has not recovered so positively. The tightening of regulations on the technology sector has made young people afraid to apply for jobs to these businesses, even though they have internet knowledge. Shanghai and Beijing, where 18 of the 20 universities have students with the highest starting salaries in the country, have been in lockdown since April.
Meanwhile, the university enrollment rate in the past 10 years has “produced” a large labor force, overloading the economy. HSBC estimates that recent graduates in China now account for more than half of the new labor supply, with literature and arts one of the most popular majors.
Refer to Bloomberg