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Graduates find first-tier cities still appealing

By Chen Xin in Beijing and Xu Jingxi in Guangzhou  (China Daily)

09:01, September 18, 2012

University graduates and other job seekers attend a job fair in Beijing on Sept 3. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

First-tier cities like Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai are becoming more popular among university graduates, according to a recent employment survey.

The survey, conducted by, a human resources service provider, polled about 32,000 university graduates nationwide. It showed 63 percent of respondents hope to stay in first-tier cities for at least one year after graduation this year. In 2011, the figure was 38 percent.

Liu Xingyang, a senior consultant at the agency, said graduates now feel this way mainly because of the increasing return of people to big cities after hoping to settle in lower-cost small cities.

In the past two years, some people left first-tier cities where they worked and went back to their hometowns or sought jobs in second-tier cities or even small places because in first-tier cities, housing prices have become too high, he said.

But many people could not get used to smaller cities because in such places, social connections, rather than abilities, usually determine one's promotions or social status. Some graduates even found they could not easily communicate with people from the area because of "cultural differences", so many started to return to big cities, Liu said.

"Such phenomena have been largely reported by the media, sparking many university graduates' desire to work in first-tier cities," he said.

Liu said first-tier cities are attractive to university graduates because they have more opportunities, greater development platforms, a fairer competitive environment, and a more diversified cultural environment.

In fact, except for housing, the living costs in first-tier cities are not much higher than second- or third-tier cities, he added.

Tang Yuan, 23, who was an English major of a university in Sichuan province and who graduated in June, is seeking a job in Beijing.

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