Grads face tough job market

09:55, February 18, 2010      

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A record 6.3 million college graduates are anticipated to hit the Chinese job market this year, a daunting number if the central government is to reach its goal of more than 80 percent employment for the group.

The state human resources and social security watchdog has warned graduates not to be too optimistic because there's a huge gap between jobs and job-seekers, despite improvements in the job market that began last fall, when the financial crisis' impact started to weaken.

The new grads will be joining a job market that's already competitive. Nationwide, the number of job-seekers is expected to be about 12 million greater than the number of openings in urban areas, said the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

The biggest reason is that orders for exports haven't recovered to pre-financial crisis levels, according to the ministry. And many enterprises have been shut for poor performance on energy use and output.

About 87 percent of last year's 6.11 million university graduates did find jobs, according to the ministry.

Meanwhile, sex discrimination in labor markets remains a major obstacle for female graduates, said Cui Yu, a senior executive in the All China Women's Federation.

Cui said China doesn't have enough service industries to absorb female graduates.

The official said women's hiring is also hampered by a lack of social security for maternity, and by gaps between what students learn and what employers need.

Cui vowed further legislation and scrutiny to ensure female graduates fairer opportunities to find jobs.

China had 1.07 million university graduates in 2000. The number topped 6 million last year because of a state policy to expand university admissions annually from the 1990s.

Source: Shanghai Daily
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