A record number of graduates in China… and unemployment is rising

Chinese graduates at a job fair (Liu Zangun/Getty)

New graduates in China fear that they will not be able to find jobs given the lack of job opportunities in the country, especially after the Corona epidemic, which forces the government to find solutions.

China’s Ministry of Education announced that about 10.76 million students are set to graduate from college this summer, a year-on-year increase of 1.67 million and an all-time high, noting that new graduates will face multiple professional pressures this year and job search. will be more difficult than before, it is in the year 2020.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the country’s unemployment rate reached 5.5%, 0.1 percentage point higher than the same period in 2021. Chinese experts had urged students to plan their careers to increase their competitiveness, and called for more preferential policies to expand the highly competitive labor market. Observers said developments in the labor market in the coming months are uncertain and depend on the extent of success in controlling the spread of the epidemic in the country.

With dwindling employment opportunities due to lower demand for employees, epidemiological constraints and significant structural contradictions in the labor market, in addition to growing graduate anxiety, options for students are narrowing. limit to three tracks: heading towards the end of higher education to improve competitiveness, or the use of the civil service sector in the light of the appearance of the new Corona virus and the need of society for this type of service, or the search for stability by finding a job in public companies, since this sector is not subject to labor market fluctuations.

A recent survey by “Jilian” platform, which is China’s largest online job service network, showed that around 44% of graduates prefer to work in the government sector, up from 42.5% in 2021. The platform’s organizers said that the trend towards state-owned enterprises is the main choice of many Chinese graduates, indicating a tendency to seek stability. Others choose to become employees of civil society institutions, especially since workers in this sector have played a major role in China’s response to Corona over the past two years. Experts are calling for better policies for these professions, such as higher salaries and lower taxes, to attract more graduates.

The survey conducted by the Chinese platform also showed that around 11% of graduates aim to pursue higher education, which is well above 4.3% in 2021, indicating a desire to improve competitiveness, being given that obtaining higher degrees such as a master’s degree or a doctorate would increase employment opportunities in the labor market.

Students arrive at Wuhan University (Zhang Shang/Getty)

deferred dreams

Lin Jiang, a student due to graduate this year from Sun Yat-sen University (southern China), told The New Arab: “It looks like we are in the midst of the worst graduation season for the country for decades. don’t have many options, and I don’t think I’ll find a job in my academic field (financial accounting), so I’ve been volunteering since the beginning of this year with a scout group to work on committees people responsible for implementing and coordinating state policies related to the fight against Corona, in the hope that I will get a job later in one of the relevant civil society institutions In order to accommodate employees, certificates of experience in field work of at least one year are required.

For his part, Long Shi, a student at the People’s University, decided to pursue his higher education because he was convinced that it would be difficult to find a job in this critical circumstance that the country is going through. He told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “I don’t want to waste time looking for a job and the job market is not attractive for new graduates given the intense competition. Therefore, I prefer to use this period to get a master’s degree, and after two years, it is expected that China will have overcome the difficult situation of Corona, and the economy may recover, which will directly affect the market for work and job opportunities.

Insufficient measures

Zhao Qiang, a researcher at Fudan University’s China Center for Economic Studies, said China’s economy is facing severe pressure, which has led to fewer job opportunities for college graduates. In his interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, he added that many graduates want stability in choosing the civil service sector or government jobs, which is a natural thing, in light of the turmoil of the market, emphasizing the need to strengthen others because it is not possible to expand the scope of public service or work, nor is it a viable solution to the unemployment crisis. Qiang explains that since the emergence of COVID-19 in the country, the government has pressured state-owned enterprises to hire more new graduates to boost the epidemic-hit labor market, but due to the strict requirements to implement the zero-Covid strategy, a significant increase is unlikely in the short term.

It is worth noting that the average monthly salary of college graduates has decreased this year, according to the “Jilian” platform, to about 6,300 Chinese yuan, equivalent to 965 US dollars, an annual decline of 6%, which reflects the fact that new job seekers want to accept less pay.

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