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City provides big advantages for companies and workers (3)

By Ed Zhang  (China Daily)

08:46, February 22, 2013

Housing prices a plus

Being in Xi'an has other advantages, Zhang said.

"You need an environment where you can not only find a lot of young people with college credentials but without so many attractions or distractions. People don't easily settle down with us if they keep looking for excitement," he said.

In contrast, in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, constantly rising housing and food prices drive young people to always seek larger firms and higher pay.

"You come in, sit down, finish your job, go home and enjoy your time with your family - that would be the kind of workers we feel most comfortable with," he said.

One example is his day-shift executive assistant, a young man that Zhang just promoted after he worked as a night-shift team leader for three years. The assistant graduated from Xi'an Huaxi University, a university funded by private capital and little-known to people outside of Shaanxi.

When asked whether he earns enough to buy an apartment in Xi'an, he said "yes". And that would be around 7,000 yuan ($1,120) per square meter, if not more.

By comparison, residential housing prices are no lower than 30,000 yuan per square meter in Beijing, and would easily be double that in Shanghai.

When asked whether he, with his work experience, could easily find another job in the city, he replied that he could. "But doing so would be meaningless because it's hard to find higher pay for someone my age," he said.

Indeed, among most large cities in China, Xi'an is unique in that a university graduate can still hope to earn enough in a few years to make a down payment for his or her own apartment.

Housing prices are still low and comparable to a coastal county town, thanks in part to the rapid disappearance of the city's nearby farms in the last couple of years as sprawling housing projects go up.

Most people in China's northwestern provinces still take job security more seriously, said Chen Hui, chief executive of the XHTZ administrative committee. Compared with coastal cities, the turnover rate of company staff is "noticeably less rampant" in Xi'an, he said.

Chen said the municipal government is trying to build more conveniences to the city's young workers, including subways and new office buildings, he said.

For New Choice, XHTZ officials had promised that the lack of office space will soon not be a problem. There will be new buildings in the software park in 2013, although some will be quite far away from the company's present location.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)

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